Countdown has begun

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The announcement of Panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir has set the ball rolling for political activities to begin. These polls would be held on non-partisan basis. But the fact is that mostly political workers contest these polls.
In Jammu region Congress and BJP have already set the ball rolling and meetings are being held to finalize the candidates for the forthcoming polls.
In Kashmir situation is different. May be authorities would have no problems in holding polls in north Kashmir but South Kashmir would definitely be a challenge for the government forces.
Security situation in many south Kashmir areas is still grim. And it would be difficult for contestants to come forward and carry on their campaign in a tense environment.
It seems the J&K government has kept the tourism season in mind and has announced the polls in the off season. May be weather could play a spoil sport and a few pockets could witness low polling percentage but the fact is that it won’t make much difference as the State government wants to ensure that polls are held so that the funds for the centrally sponsored schemes flow into the state.
Central government withholding crores of rupees due to the inability of the J&K government to hold the Panchayat polls has left the state government with no other option but to go ahead with the decision.
Next one and a half month would keep the political parties and people opposing the polls busy. The Panchayat polls are a litmus test for the ruling parties PDP and BJP as it would be their popularity test one year ahead of the parliamentary polls in the country.