It is good to know that the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD)—formed right before the centre carried out changes in the special status of J&K—has decided to fight the Assembly Elections, which might be just around the corner, jointly. But easier said than done because two major constituents of the PAGD: the National Conference (NC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) are poles apart and do not share any commonalities. With a new spin, the announcement has added another pinch of confusion among the masses who would be trying harder to find at least some common threads.
And then, the NC and PDP are not the only parties in the PAGD, there are several others, and there crops up a need for at least having a joint vision document, a Common Minimum Program, before such an announcement was made, rather than leaving people guessing about what and how. NC over the decades has been striving hard for Autonomy, in the name of which, it has been fighting elections, and enjoying power. PDP on the other hand has been pitching for Self-Rule which forms the basis of its election manifesto every election. While one fails to find any connection between what NC has been striving for and what the PDP aims to achieve, the announcement of the joint election fight is just a laughing stock.
While the idea of fighting it all jointly is quite good and might be very well needed, there is a need for coming up with a document detailing the common grounds of various parties in the PAGD, particularly the NC and PDP; the same needs to be made public as was done when PDP-BJP came to power after forming an alliance and a common minimum program was chalked out, prepared by Haseeb Drabu and discussed for over a month. Why not do that at a time when it is the most needed? Interestingly, what the latest from the PAGD has at least proven is that there are no permanent friends when it comes to politics; and no permanent enemies too: bitter but the truth.
No one can deny that both the parties have got a lot on their skin even as the situation which has engulfed J&K currently has come through the road passing through NC and PDP. All the while, they kept promoting and fighting for what was beyond and above the Constitution of India; on and off locked horns with the centre; kept disrespecting the Tri-Color; held the ‘State Flag’ up and above in comparison to the National Flag, inviting fury from the centre. It is rather true that the policies of these parties in the end agitated the center and what that caused; resulted in, is very well in front of us. The NC and PDP need to help people this time at least by defining the common threads. They better make it easy for a common man now!