J&K: Oppn feels successfully thwarted BJP-friendly govt

J&K: Oppn feels successfully thwarted BJP-friendly govt

**FILE PHOTO** Jammu: In this file photo dated January 27, 2017, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti during the Budget Session of the J-K Legislative Assembly in Jammu. BJP on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, has pulled out of the PDP-BJP alliance gove

The Opposition has tasted blood once again in a political fight against Narendra Modi-led BJP in recent times but they are not creating much noise over the dissolution of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly over it.

While the Opposition is highlighting that the BJP-led Centre prodded Governor Satyapal Singh to act, as PDP-National Conference (NC)-Congress combine had a “credible claim” to form the government, neither the PDP nor the NC, the principal players in Kashmir, are keen to challenge the decision in courts.

Otherwise quick to target BJP, Congress president Rahul Gandhi too has not made any statement on Governor Satyapal Singh's decision so far though his party was very active in the exercise to stall any attempt by the BJP to have a regime favourable to it with People's Conference leader Sajjad Lone at its helm.

The lack of intensity in campaign over the dissolution is attributed by some in the Opposition camp as it was what all these parties actually wanted and that BJP was forced to act due to a “real possibility” of the Opposition forming a government.

“We have thwarted their (BJP) attempt to cobble up a government by breaking us. You can say that was our main objective,” a senior Opposition leader told DH, as he pointed out to a series of “setbacks” the Modi regime has faced in the recent times, including Karnataka.

Opposition strategists see the dissolution as the successful conclusion of their strategy and they have "once again" stumped the BJP. They believe it exposes Modi's loosening grip on the political narrative and control he mastered so far.

“The BJP wanted to form the government in Karnataka. It could not. They wanted to defeat Ahmed Patel in Rajya Sabha elections. It could not. In the latest bypolls in Karnataka, we managed to wrest one seat from them. Now, we have Kashmir where we have managed to join hands. The narrative is slowly slipping out of Modi's hand," the leader said.

The coming together of arch-rivals PDP and NC with Congress playing to the tune was unexpected for BJP, which was trying to cobble up a government under Lone by wooing MLAs from other parties, particularly PDP.

The decision to join hands helped the Opposition parties to keep their flocks together and forced BJP, which did not want a hostile regime in Kashmir, to dissolve the Assembly. “This will further alienate the BJP and those like Lone. The icing on the cake is the bonhomie between NC's Omar Abdullah and PDP's Mehbooba Mufti. It showed in need, they are ready to walk the talk,” the leader said.

The Opposition believes that Governor's decision will not go well with the voters, as they are likely to see as “arbitrary” attempts by the BJP on Kashmir. They also believe that the majority of the 23 BJP MLAs are unhappy over the decision as they have three more years of their tenure and none were ready for an election now.