The Jammu and Kashmir government announcing the schedule for the forthcoming urban local bodies polls has set the ball rolling for the election process, which has been marred by the controversies due to the major political parties National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party deciding to stay away from the exercise.
The Government of India has decided to go ahead with the poll process despite both the Kashmir based regional parties saying no. The decision to hold the panchayat and municipal polls in J&K was announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the ramparts of the Redfort during his Independence-day speech on August 15. The GoI has ensured that the announcement made by the Prime Minister is given a practical shape.
The arguments put forward by the mainstream parties that situation is not conducive for holding polls and the threat perception is high have been brushed aside by the GoI. At present the focus of the central government is to somehow conduct these elections.
Many people believe that it’s an exercise to set the ball rolling for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. BJP seems least interested in forming a new government in Jammu and Kashmir by joining hands with any of the regional parties.
Speculations are rife that the GoI has even decided to trifurcate Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and the policy is being formulated to go ahead with the plan. It looks like that BJP led NDA government wants to keep the Kashmir based parties confined to the Valley.
Holding panchayat and municipal polls seems to be a first step towards isolating Kashmir Valley from Jammu and Ladakh regions. There is every possibility about more surprises being in store in the coming days.