From Ghulam Nabi Azad’s DAP to Shah Faesal’s JKPM, a Trail of Crumbling New Parties in J&K

by WebDesk
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In August 2022, Ghulam Nabi Azad – former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and a stalwart in national politics – severed his five-decade-old ties with the Congress and soon after, announced the launch of his new political party. It created ripples in the political circles of Jammu and Kashmir, writes Umer Maqbool.
Azad’s re-entry into J&K politics after a gap of 14 years was expected to create instability and dissension in not just the Congress but also other regional parties. It was widely believed that Azad would attract leaders from various political formations.
But four months down the line, his party has started to implode and is far from emerging as a serious contender on Jammu and Kashmir’s landscape, raising questions on its future.
The quick crumbling of Azad’s Democratic Progressive Azad Party shows how new political parties are failing to get traction in J&K where electoral politics has been manoeuvred and rigged since 1947. Other new parties that have emerged on J&K’s political landscape after the imposition of Central rule in the erstwhile state in June 2018 have almost met with a fate similar to DAP’s. As many as nine new parties have emerged in J&K after the Bharatiya Janata Party withdrew support to the Mehbooba Mufti-led government with whom it had a six-year power-sharing agreement.
The birth of new parties is being met with suspicion and cynicism in a Kashmir where electoral politics has been largely loathed in the last three decades. Many stakeholders accuse these formations of being New Delhi’s creations to divide vote in Kashmir, and the Pir Panchal and Chenab regions of Jammu.
The first such political formation that took birth in J&K during the ongoing spell of central rule was the Shah Faesal-led Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement, which has completely disappeared now. In March 2019, Faesal, the Indian Administrative Service topper of 2010, launched a new political party . Its slogan was ‘Hawa badlegi‘. The winds will change.

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