Political disturbances, President’s rule mark end of 2018 in J&K


Jammu and Kashmir witnessed political upsets and disturbances throughout 2018, which ended with the imposition of President’s rule on December 20 after completion of six months of Governor’s rule.

The year 2018 witnessed some of the major political upheavals which made it to the headlines during the year.

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The political barometer witnessed ups and downs and created ripples all throughout the year uncoiled with tug of war between the two alliance viz. The PDP- BJP and finally the alliance known as bridge between North South came to an end on June 19.

The decision of snapping the alliance which came from New Delhi took the PDP by surprise and created political ripples within state politics.

If recalled, through the year relations between two allies- PDP-BJP were estranged but the BJP’s pulling out of the government came as a shocker for the PDP. The saffron party claimed that it had now and then apprised the high command in National Capital that the PDP was taking unilateral decision that too against the interest of Jammu which may prove fatal to the prospect of the party in near future.

It was also claimed that PDP even has out-rightly rejected the demand of CBI probe in much hyped Rasana case. Not only this, the PDP was also accused of the keeping its ally in dark while taking decisions on settlement of nomads, harping issues of civilian killing during encounter and amnesty to stone-pelters besides unconditional talks with Pakistan.

All this has become Achilles Heel for the BJP in the state and at the Centre and it was apprehended in political spheres that the PDP is trying to pullout from alliance but finally it resulted into a sky fall decision of the BJP high command which resulted to snapping of coalition in J&K.

After the pull-out of BJP, the Governor’s rule on was imposed on June 20 in the state and since then, the two allies have started aiming their guns at each other while NC too have opened its arsenal against the two parties.

Meanwhile, the Centre replaced the Governor of state NN Vohra with Satya Pal Malik.

And the new incumbent – Malik-led administration announced the Urban Local Bodies and panchyat polls in the state. Without giving it a second thought, the NC and PDP decided to boycott the polls asserting that the situation in valley is not conducive for polls.

But this decision of the respective high commands of two main stream parties by their cadre created fissures within the two parties as many ground level leaders and workers said that the Governor’s decision of polls for ULBs and Panchyats will help in strengthening democracy in state and thus revolted against their party high commands.

Meanwhile, the state BJP with 25 seats in its kitty silently tried to claim power reins in the state with the help of its smaller ally People’s Conference.

When the BJP and others mainstream parties were in a bid to hatch ‘political egging’ for a possible coalition government in the state as not only BJP with miniscule ally People Conference of former Minister Sajjad Lone but the Congress and NC, along with PDP shunning political acrimony, were cooking an alliance suddenly all such attempts got a shocker when new Governor of state declared the ‘assembly in animated suspension’.

Within this political commotion, the PDP’s claims of sending list of supporting MLAs i.e. having adequate number to claims power reins was turned down by Governor who claimed fax for the same was not received at Governor House.

Meanwhile, with the suspension of Assembly, the Governor attracted criticism from all political spheres while Panthers Party and some others welcomed the decision.

Then things didn’t stop here as the mainstream political parties continued to get jolts from within and some leaders and workers started shifting loyalties.

The first of such case came with the resignation of BJP’s MP from Ladakh Thupson Chewang, later Congress’ former MLA Swarn Lata joined National Conference, the party also welcomed expelled BJP MLA R S Pura Gagan Bhagat (who was axed by party’s Disciplinary Committee).

Even the PDP also faced such jolts when former Ministers Haseeb Drabu, Bhasarat Bhukhari and MLAs Peer Mohd Hussan, Yasir Reshi left the party.

Ultimately, on December 20, President Rule was imposed in the state with constitutional term of six months of Governor’s Rule coming to an end. (Agencies)

Rainu Raina