|Omar, Mehbooba have no mandate to speak for whole J&K|
|Jammu, Ladakh not Kashmir's colonies|
|Early Times Report|
JAMMU, Dec 15: Kashmir-based parties, including the PDP and the NC, have upped their ante against the Indian politico-constitutional arrangement and put forth demands ranging from greater autonomy to talks with Pakistan to making borders irrelevant. And leaders like Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti have suddenly become more vocal. They are saying that the time has come to end the 70-year-old conflict and resolution of the Kashmir issue. Hold talks with Pakistan and all stakeholders in Kashmir, they are saying. They have no place for Jammu and Ladakh in their scheme of things. They consider Jammu and Ladakh as Kashmir's two colonies where the life of the people is not one of political and economic aspirations and whose only duty is to obey the Kashmir's diktats. This has been happening since October 1947, when Maharaja Hari Singh acceded J&K to India hoping that New Delhi will introduce democracy in the state.
One thing that is common between them is their opposition to everything Indian, barring Indian rupees, jobs across the nation, scholarships, business establishments throughout India etc. On all other issues, they are one and this they proved on November 21, when the State Governor, SP Malik, dissolved the assembly much to their chagrin. The PDP and the NC plus the Rahul Gandhi's Congress had that day formed in the words of out-on-the-limb Mehbooba Mufti "grand alliance" to form coalition government. All the three parties in one voice had then said that they joined hands to save the state and defeat the move of Sajad Lone and the BJP to capture the state government through backdoor and after murdering democracy.
It's a different story that Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah have ruled out any possibility of pre-poll alliance with either the PDP or the Congress. At the same time, it is now a fact that the NC, the PDP and the Congress could form an alliance in case of need to perpetuate Kashmir's rule over the state. A statement to this effect was made by Mehbooba Mufti in Mumbai on December 14 while saying that the PDP committed a grave blunder by forging an alliance with the BJP and that the alliance with the BJP had made her PDP an object of contempt and ridicule in the Kashmir Valley.
The Abdullahs and Mehbooba Mufti, and even the Congress have to understand that Jammu and Ladakh are Jammu and Ladakh and it would be suicidal if the took these two regions of the state for granted. Things in Jammu have changed and the just-held ULB and panchayat elections in Jammu and Ladakh have only proved that.
In the meantime, many in Jammu and Ladakh have expressed themselves in favour of the President's rule in the state, saying "it would be better as compared to the so-called popular rule".