The inclusion of the venerable statesman and Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) chairman, Ghulam Nabi Azad, in the distinguished eight-member committee tasked with examining the concept of “one nation, one election” has ignited a schism within the political landscape of Jammu and Kashmir.
The President of Jammu and Kashmir Congress, Vikar Rasool Wani, vehemently asserts that Azad’s appointment validates his alignment with the BJP and RSS, portraying him as a political adherent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Wani goes on to suggest a deep-rooted camaraderie between Modi and Azad, evident in the Prime Minister’s emotional farewell to Azad in 2021.
Moreover, Wani contends that Azad’s resurgence has inadvertently paved the way for the BJP and RSS to exploit his political influence to fracture the secular vote bank, leaving erstwhile Azad loyalists blindsided by his ostensibly divergent political trajectory.
The Congress spokesperson, Dr. Jahanzaib Sirwal, underscores Azad’s historical rapport with the BJP by highlighting the exclusion of the incumbent Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, from the panel. This omission, in Sirwal’s view, raises pertinent questions regarding Azad’s preferential treatment despite his lack of parliamentary membership.
Firdous Tak, the spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and a former Member of the Legislative Council, posits that Prime Minister Modi is orchestrating a meticulous plan for the forthcoming 2024 general elections. Tak perceives Azad’s inclusion in the committee as a tactical maneuver to reintegrate his close confidant into national politics.
While the National Conference (NC) leaders abstain from commenting on Azad’s role, both the BJP and Azad’s DPAP staunchly defend the government’s decision.
Ravinder Raina, the President of BJP in Jammu and Kashmir, lauds Azad’s illustrious political career despite their ideological differences. Raina maintains that Azad’s inclusion in the committee is a testament to the robust democratic discourse in India.
Similarly, R.S. Chib, the General Secretary of DPAP and a former minister, contends that Azad’s committee appointment aligns with his extensive parliamentary and ministerial experience. Chib emphasizes that characterizing the committee as a “BJP panel” is overly simplistic
In essence, Ghulam Nabi Azad’s participation in the committee’s deliberations showcases the intricacies of political alignments and the government’s recognition of his vast political expertise. This appointment heralds Azad’s potential resurgence on the national stage, offering him a platform to influence India’s political landscape once more.
As the debate rages on, the DPAP’s base faces further erosion, with several senior leaders and loyalists returning to the Congress fold. Azad’s enduring impact and his association with prominent Opposition figures nationwide underscore his significance in this evolving political narrative.
In conclusion, the inclusion of Ghulam Nabi Azad in the “one nation, one election” committee underscores the intricacies of political realignments and the nuanced maneuvering within India’s diverse political landscape. The ramifications of this appointment may well resonate beyond the confines of Jammu and Kashmir, impacting the nation’s political discourse.