The road ahead for J&K’s new chief minister Mehbooba Mufti

Mehbooba Mufti, 56, has become the first woman chief minister of J&K, as she now heads the collation government of the PDP and the BJP in the second innings of their partnership

aasha

Aasha Khosa | April 4, 2016


#Jammu and Kashmir   #PDP   #Mehbooba Mufti  


It was a quirk of fate that made her foray into the tumultuous politics of J&K. Mehbooba has grown into an astute politician and a charismatic leader in 20 years. However, as she renews her vows with the BJP and embarks on a new phase of her career, Mehbooba’s journey is unlikely to be smooth

Some of the key challenges for her are:

Her image: Mehbooba Mufti’s image as a hardliner and pro-Kashmir leader has brought her mixed blessings. The green dupatta, that she was seen covering her head with while taking oath as chief minister, is often seen as a deliberate fashion-cum political statement from the Kashmiri leader. Though she defends her over use of green dupatta by claiming that it is the colour of her party flag, this is seen by her rivals as her support for Islamic fundamentalists, whose increasing presence is often linked to rise of pro-Pakistan insurgency in Kashmir.  Wearing the party colours on the sleeves – virtually, in this case - has made Mehbooba popular in Kashmir; but at the same time this symbolism has apparently put off others from getting  closer to the PDP.

READ: Mehbooba Mufti: Daddy's girl comes of age


Mehbooba will have to surely work on her image to sustain her career as a J&K politician.
 
Party: Mehboob’s party PDP has not been in great shape since the demise of her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on January7 this year. While Mehbooba was grieving the loss of her father and mentor and refusing to make up her mind on becoming chief minister for nearly three months, the PDP went through a period of uncertainty. A couple of senior leaders  threw tantrums and hinted at leaving the party. The general perception is that PDP is most prone to poaching by rivals and internal division in crisis. Mehbooba desperately needs to keep her flock together.

 BJP:  The Hindutva party has played hardball with Mehbooba Mufti so far. Unlike her father who enjoyed an image of being a good administrator and a political strategist, Mehbooba’s name only evokes smirks in the BJP. Besides, the party has its own agenda of looking after the Hindu majority Jammu region, which often puts the PDP in embarrassing positions. Though Mufti Sayeed would call the coalition as a political agreement to honour the aspiration of people of two regions of the state, the coalition partners have not enjoyed the best of relations and often worked at cross purposes.

Centre: The central government needs to open its purse strings for Mehbooba Mufti to gain credibility and not create problems for her. The state, like many other hill and small states, lacks resources and is heavily dependent upon the centre for financial help. There is a feeling in Kashmir that Narendra Modi government’s repeated claims of wanting to help Kashmir after last year’s devastating floods, was just a pep talk.

Opposition: The opposition parties like National Conference and Congress are ready to take on Mehbooba Mufti and show no mercy to her. In fact, former chief minister Omar Abdullah has been posing uncomfortable questions [like if she would say Bharat mata ki jai] to Mehbooba on twitter. His attacks are only going to sharpen in the coming days. Congress is also smiling, as they are already playing on the contradictions of the two parties and predicting a mid-term poll in the border state shortly.
 
Mehbooba Mufti, the chief minister, will also have to take a stand against fundamentalists and militants – something she had avoided so far. 

 

Comments

 

Other News

Cyclists plan ‘memorial ride’ to press demand for infrastructure

Cycling is a passion for many, and it is a way to fitness too. With rising numbers of vehicles on the road, the government encourages this environment-friendly mode of transportation, but it comes with numerous challenges. An accident last month on the Mahipalpur flyover of south Delhi, which took the life

“World headed towards stagflation; India must take care of the poor”

As the post-pandemic fallout and geopolitical uncertainty slows down global economies and sanctions against some nations, energy crisis and inflation are adding to the troubles, India is projected to be decoupled from world economy and fare better. To check if this belief really holds water, in the latest

The changing nature of CSR in India

With the advent of globalization came a new set of challenges for corporations, notably the duty of ensuring the well-being of all stakeholders while also protecting the planet`s natural environment. Although we are dedicated to a faster and more inclusive rate of growth, it is equally imperative that we f

BMC commissioner Chahal conferred with hon. doctorate

BMC commissioner and administrator Iqbal Singh Chahal has been conferred with a Honorary Doctor of Science Degree (honoris causa) by Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar, Punjab. Chahal was conferred the degree during the 48th convocation of the University in Amritsar at the hands of Punjab

Sebi to have two-track approach on ESG

Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) aims to use a two-track approach on environmental social and corporate governance (ESG). Addressing a conference on ‘ESG for Atmanirbhar Bharat` in Mumbai, Sebi chairperson Madhabi Puri Buch said that that there should not be a single carbo

Accuracy more important than speed in news: Anurag Thakur

Presenting authentic information is the prime responsibility of media and that facts should be properly checked before they are put in the public domain, union minister of information and broadcasting Anurag Thakur has said. “While speed with which the information is transmitted is imp

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter