The conclusion of the recent political stalemate in Jammu and Kashmir where Mehbooba Mufti, the daughter of late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed taking over as the chief minister on April 4 was not just about hard-bargaining between parties and theories of manipulation.
There is also a positive aspect to the story and it is about good administration which put the power-hungry parties of our contry to shame.
Jammu and Kashmir, a state which is known for its sensitive geography and politics, remained without a government after Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's death on January 7. The two parties that formed the government in March 2015---the PDP and BJP---struggled to form a new government after Mufti's death while the Opposition parties hoped to find a loophole to sneak through. None of these outfits cared about the state and its people.
While the power-hungry parties went on with strategising, Governor Vohra worked on ground
But just like in physics, there lies no vacuum in politics, either. While J&K remained without a guardian, its Governor Narinder Nath Vohra led the quiet mission in getting things done on the ground.
The governor's office took care of every aspect of the state's functining while there was no government. From working on the expansion of the Jammu airport to setting a deadline for the Army to vacate a land to provide cash relief to the flood victims, Raj Bhavan pushed officials to move files fast. Governor Vohra, a former IAS officer who had served under the governments of IK Gujral and AB Vajpayee in the past, asked the administrative heads to provide him with a list of things to get done and regularly followed them up.
The work that was done under Raj Bhavan's leadership
Here are some of the work that the administration took up even when the state of J&K had no government, as per an Indian Express report:
Army's vacating land: Vohra set March 31 as the deadline for the Army to vacate big tracts of land in Kashmir Valley, Jammu and Kargil.
Jammu masterplan: Under Vohra's supervision, the masterplan for Jammu was revised five years ahead of the schedule. Under this plan, the area of Jammu, the state's summer capital, will be increased from 305 square kilometres to over 652 square kilometres to accommodate an estimated number of 20.5 lakh people.
Dredging of Jhelum: Over 7.39 lakh cubic metre of silt has been removed from the Jhelum River against a target of 10.13 lakh cubic metre by march this year. The governoe himself made two spot inspections.
2014 flood relief work: The work was fast-tracked as deputy commissioners transferred a financial assistance of Rs 599 crore into the beneficiaries' bank accounts through the Direct Benefit Transfer.
TAMEIR plan: Implementation of the Rs 80,000-crore developmental package plan [The Aggregative Multi-sector Economic & Infrastructure Rebuilding or TAMEIR] announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Local body polls: The chief electoral officer was also asked to prepare for municipal and panchayat elections due this year. Electronic voting machines will also be used for the first time in these elections following the amendment of the J&K Municipal Corporation Act and the J&K Municipal Corporation (Election) Rules.
Mufti couldn't have left the task unattended for long
It was logical that these instances of a good administrative show under the leadership of the governor would put the PDP leadership in some discomfort. Mehbooba knew very well that if her party went on delaying things over government formation while the governor continued to 'rule' the state and the Centre took the credit for looking after the state, its own credibility would have taken another strong beating. Its decision to ally with the Hindu BJP has already created enough controversy in the Muslim-majority state's politics.