Strange are the ways of the functioning of the coalition partners in Jammu and Kashmir. While the leading party-the PDP-claims to have got passed the controversial Permanent (Disqualification) Bill, 2004, the other major partner, the Congress tells the people in Jammu that it would bury this Bill at any cost. Another constituent of the coalition is JKNPP, whose leaders publicly attack both the Congress and the PDP for being anti-people parties, working against national interests.
Here it is to be noted that the Congress along with the National Conference, PDP and JKNPP had unanimously passed this Bill within six minutes in the assembly. But after the strong reaction from Jammu and other parts of the country against the Bill, the Congress had to change its stance. And now the alliance partners are singing in their own contradictory tunes with highly provocative statements.
Another interesting feature of the ruling conglomerate is the hard postures adopted by the different parties over seat sharing. While the PDP seems to be determined to contest all the three seats from the Valley so as to claim to be the sole representative of the Valley, the Congress has announced its intention to contest at least one seat from the Kashmir Valley, i.e. Baramulla, two from Jammu and the lone seat from Ladakh, thus projecting itself to be the only representative of the whole state and not confined merely to one region of Jammu and Kashmir.
Here it is worth mentioning that the PDP is canvassing for the Congress in Jammu against the BJP and other parties but in the Valley of Kashmir both the parties are fighting against each other.
Another astonishing feature of the coalition´s functioning is that the JKNPP supremo, Prof. Bhim Singh is openly assailing the government as also other partners of the coalition. Not only has he decided to contest from the Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency, he has also fielded his party´s nominees from four other constituencies in case the Congress does not withdraw its candidate from Udhampur. But the Congress leaders are of late threatening the JKNPP leader to behave or else he would be thrown out of the coalition.
All the coalition partners are opting for their own ways, yet the coalition is still there, thanks to the lure of power working as the uniting factor.(FOC)