More than 14 months after the abrogation of Article 370, which guaranteed Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, almost all mainstream Kashmir political parties have come together to work for the restoration of the special position.
What was unthinkable earlier has now happened. The National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party had been bitter rivals in the past, fighting each other politically, and joining different camps at the national level. But now they are batting on the same pitch.
When the National Conference joined the Atal Behari Vajpayee led National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre, the PDP formed a coalition with the Congress in Jammu and Kashmir. The PDP and the Congress even shared the chief ministership.
Later, the positions reversed. The National Conference allied with the Congress while the PDP formed a coalition with the BJP in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Narendra Modi-Amit Shah duo’s political moves have now made most political parties of Kashmir to come together to fight for the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, PAGD, now has seven constituent parties. Apart from the National Conference and the PDP, other constituents are the People’s Conference, Awami National Conference, the JK People’s Movement and two Communist parties, the CPIM and the CPI.
The Congress is not formally a part of PAGD though it had signed the original Gupkar Declaration in August last year.
What never happened in the past, the political unity of Kashmir parties, has now come to fruition, thanks to the manoeuvres of the Narendra Modi led dispensation.
What it will lead to in the future nobody can foresee at present. But it is likely to be far-reaching.