BARAMULLA, Mar 19: Former MLA Baramulla and senior Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Javed Hassan Beig on Tuesday cautioned the political mainstream to stand united or otherwise the winds of polarization will take the state of Jammu and Kashmir towards a split.
In an exclusive interview with Kashmir Despatch, Beig talked at length over various issues confronting the people of Jammu and Kashmir especially the present political situation in the state.
Below are the excerpts from this interview:
Q. What is the present status of your relationship with PDP? This questions assumes significance in view of your sharp criticism of the PDP leadership on various occasions in past?
JHB: “I have been a part of PDP right from the beginning as one of its founder members since July 28, 1999 and in future he will be part of PDP.”
Q2. Where does the PDP stand on ground particularly in North Kashmir?
JHB: “There is no doubt that PDP has got a dent since 2014 but the PDP workers are full of courage and conviction and the upcoming elections will show PDP’s performance. He said since the parliamentary elections are seen as the elections of party itself, PDP will prove its presence all over the state especially in North Kashmir on the basis of its strong and credible cadre on the ground.”
Q3. What is you assessment of the overall political situation in Kashmir especially in district Baramulla?
JHB: “Unfortunately the state of Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed polarization. I have often voiced my concern even on the floor of assembly. Today through your medium I want to reiterate it again that if J&K’s political mainstream remained divided and continued with their region based politics then Jammu and Kashmir as a state is definitely heading towards a split. PDP under the leadership of Late Mufti Sayeed forged an alliance with BJP just in light of this significant fractured mandate. The alliance came into being just to overcome that polarization as BJP had won 25 assembly seats from Jammu and PDP had won an equal number of seats from Kashmir valley. So the net result was that State had witnessed a situation of huge polarization. Late Mufti Saheb’s took a big risk and his decision to go with BJP to form a government in J&K proved correct in view of that situation. PDP faced its brunt also. But History will bail him out Mufti Saheb for his decision. The future challenge for us will be how to ensure unity of Jammu and Kashmir, if the present polarized atmosphere continues in the state and outside J&K.”
Q4. What are the main reasons behind PDP’s disintegration?
JHB: “PDP has not disintegrated. Some people have left PDP and some have joined. Some who have joined are better and strong than those who have left the PDP. They will perform better than the media is guessing about them. I assure you and my workers as well that those who have replaced the people in PDP are much stronger and you will see their performance in upcoming elections.”
Q5. What is your expectation about Lok Sabha and coming assembly elections in Kashmir? How far should PDP leadership rely on North Kashmir’s assembly constituencies if it wants to have a dignified comeback?
JHB: “Elections do not matter in politics and the history of political parties. Elections come and go. What matters is your dedication and commitment towards public welfare. If it was so, there should have been no National Conference or Congress in the state. But we will try our best to perform better on the ground with utmost sincerity rest the results lie with Allah the almighty.
Q6. Why, do think, PDP leadership never considered you for any ministerial assignment to give a proper representation to district Baramulla in the state’s ministerial council?
JHB: “Perhaps they (PDP leadership) thought I was not good enough to be a minister. And this question you must ask the party president, the decision makers.”
Q7. What about the profile and developmental scenario of your own constituency?
JHB: “The assembly elections were held in November December and the results came in December 2014. Government was formed perhaps in March 2015. In 2015 we did some work. 2016 was a year of turmoil, uncertainty and chaos. In 2017 we started some works and they are under execution. People of my constituency and my workers will tell you about my performance. But how can I claim works to be done in six years were carried out in just two years. I could not get time to perform but people must think over it. People must think over the situation that has crept after fall of the government. They should ponder over the arrests, bureaucratic hurdles and other difficulties faced by them. People by now must have realized that governor rule is not in their interest. Even a bad government is good for people than governor rule. An elected government is always a good government for the people.”