Even after ceasefire PDP leaders stay away from their ‘bastion’

Even after ceasefire PDP leaders stay away from their ‘bastion’
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Afaq Bhat

Srinagar, May 29: As the ruling Peoples Democratic Party is trying its best to ensure that Ramadan ceasefire announced by New Delhi is extended further, politicians are finding it hard to carry on with their political activities in south Kashmir, which has emerged as the hot bed of militancy during the past three years.
It has been 13-days since the ceasefire has been announced but none of the politicians especially from the ruling party have been able to visit the volatile areas in Shopian, Pulwama and Kulgam districts.
An analyst said, “Prior to 2014 south Kashmir was considered to be PDP’s bastion but now it has become the most haunted place for the PDP leaders.”
He said, “In 2014 assembly elections PDP won most of the seats from south Kashmir and wiped out National Conference and Congress from the southern districts. The senior most leader of the National Conference and former Member Parliament Dr Mehboob Beg resigned to his fate and joined the PDP to avoid defeat in Anantnag assembly constituency. The seat was subsequently won by the late Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.”
A Kashmir watcher said, “PDP joining hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party seems to have made the voters and the people of south Kashmir turn their backs towards the PDP. During the past three years south Kashmir has remained on boil. The same people who voted for the PDP in droves stand alienated.”
He said, “The PDP leaders have no one except themselves to blame for the party losing ground in its own bastion. During all these years none of its leaders and ministers have tried to reconnect with the people who brought them into power.”
“The ceasefire announced by the GoI has provided them with the golden opportunity to reach out to the people but most of them are staying away citing security reasons. Time is running out for them and they should utilize this chance to get connected with the people again,” the Kashmir watcher added.
An observer said that PDP leaders would have to put in lot of hard work once again to gain their foothold in south Kashmir. “They cannot stay away from the people for long. No politician can become successful if he stays away from the people long. On the other hand PDP would have to ensure that New Delhi comes up with more confidence building measures to restore normalcy in south Kashmir. Staying aloof won’t help PDP’s cause,” he added.