Jammu, October 09: With the process of conducting elections for the Block Development Councils underway, the “hollowness” from which the main political parties of the state suffer has been exposed, stated Brig Anil Gupta, State Spokesperson of Bharatiya Janata Party. Elaborating further he said, “These parties have lost complete contact with the ground-level workers. They had got so used to drawing-room politics that they completely ignored the grass-root workers. Disillusioned and leaderless, their cadre has gone into hibernation.
As far as NC and PDP are concerned, their leadership was never sincere about the devolution of power to the lower rung. They were always scared of the seat of power shifting from Gupkar Road to grassroots leaders at Panchayat and Block level. The new power structure in the form of Panchayati Raj was always viewed by them as a challenge to their dynastic politics.”
The MLAs of these parties were also scared of their power being diluted with the emergence of elected representatives at the urban local bodies and panchayats and they always threw a spanner in the works whenever demand for holding elections to PRIs/ULBs was made. By boycotting the elections to urban local bodies, NC and PDP lost a chance to retrieve themselves and instead annoyed their cadre by nipping in the bud their political aspirations. Congress on the other hand whose mass base has been constantly eroding failed to find candidates willing to contest on its symbol.
Unfortunately, these parties turned a blind eye to the ground realities and instead blamed BJP which emerged victorious in both the panchayat and ULB elections, rued Brig Gupta. The erosion of mass base and absence of grass-root cadre is the “hollowness” from which these parties suffer, asserted Brig Gupta.
It is almost certain that NC & PDP are going to boycott the elections. Congress after initial bravado and euphoria has also thrown enough hints of a boycott. Once again Congress has failed to find candidates who are willing to contest on the party’s symbol. The Congress leadership needs to carry out a serious introspection and get rid of the ostrich-like mindset rather than giving lame excuses.
Another reality is that these parties are unable to digest the sincere effort being made by the Modi government to strengthen the grass-root democracy in the state. “The power-brokers who have always put their political interests above the interest of the common man and kept him disempowered are now scared of the emergence of new faces and new leadership in the form of Chairmen of BDCs. These Chairmen will not only fill the political vacuum created due to the current leadership being obdurate,” stated Brig Gupta. Panchs and Sarpanchs duly-empowered will provide the grass-root leadership and work for the betterment of people.
“Panchayati Raj Institutions are inseparable part of our democratic system and are meant to complement the system and not act as a parallel centre of power. This reality needs to be accepted by the NC-PDP as much as they need to accept the reality of abrogation of Article 370 & 35A. They need to reorient in order to remain relevant as mainstream political parties,” said Brig Gupta.