'His revelation about what went on behind the scenes make it abundantly clear that the BJP must have indulged in similar tactics in Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya where it formed a government even though it did not have a majority at first,' says Amulya Ganguli.
Satyapal Malik has let the BJP down.
'If I had looked to Delhi, I would have had to call on Sajjad Lone to form a government (in Jammu and Kashmir) and would have been known as a dishonest person all my life,' the J&K governor has said.
By choosing to stick to the straight and narrow path instead, he has, first, accused the BJP of not being averse to following a devious route to form a government -- obviously via defections -- in the state.
Secondly, his revelation about what went on behind the scenes and his mental reservations about them make it abundantly clear that the BJP must have indulged in similar tactics in states like Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya where it formed a government even though it did not have a majority at first.
True, these underhand tricks have never been a secret.
It has long been known that parties like the Congress engaged in such manipulative tactics to come to power, including looking upon Raj Bhavans as party offices.
However, Malik is the first governor who has let the cat out of the bag.
In doing so, he has done a disservice to the party of which he was once the national vice-president.
For, not only has he exposed the seamy side of the BJP's functioning, he has also scuttled the party's chances of returning to power in the state in the near future.
By throwing light on the clandestine plans of Sajjad Lone of the People's Conference and the unknown would-be defectors from the Peoples Democratic Party and the National Conference, the governor has put these parties on guard vis-à-vis the BJP.
It will be possible, therefore, for the PDP and the NC to approach the assembly election which are to be held within the next six months with the confidence of knowing that the disaffected in their parties will lie low and not undermine the two parties in any way.
If the current closeness of the PDP and the NC holds, and if they are able to carry the Congress along with them, their success in the polls will be certain.
The BJP will then have to rue, first, the failure of its strategy of replacing a bureaucrat like N N Vohra with a politician in Raj Bhavan to facilitate the party's political objectives and, secondly, of its own inability to break the PDP and NC in order to secure a foothold in the Kashmir valley, which it could not achieve when it was the PDP's ally in the government.
The BJP will still retain much of its influence in Hindu-dominated Jammu, but the valley with its 96 per cent Muslim population -- the jewel in the crown -- will remain out of reach.
The BJP will also be unable to energetically insist for quite some time on the revocation of Article 370 conferring a special status on Kashmir and Article 35A on special residential rights.
Since the setback in Kashmir will coincide with the electoral setbacks which the BJP is expected to suffer in mainland India, the party may not be able to look forward to 2019 with great optimism.
Amulya Ganguli is a writer on current affairs.