Srinagar, Aug 5: Exactly after one year of the revocation of Articles 370 and 35-A, political parties in Kashmir are making an attempt to dispel the notion that political formations in the Valley have lost relevance.
National Conference has taken a lead by breaking its silence over Centre’s last year decision to revoke J&K’s special status and its subsequent bifurcation into two union territories. NC vice-president and former J&K chief minister, Omar Abdullah, has gone into damage control mode after writing an Oped in a national daily in which he had stated that he won’t contest the assembly elections till J&K’s statehood is restored.
An analyst said that resignation of the NC chief spokesman, Aga Ruhullah, made Omar “eat his words” and since then he has been reiterating that his party wants statehood and special status back. “Many of us are aware of the fact that New Delhi granting special status back to J&K at present looks a very difficult ask, may be statehood and 4G internet services could be restored,” the analyst added.
It may be recalled soon after Omar demanded restoration of the statehood, senior BJP leader, Ashok Kaul told Precious Kashmir said that statehood won’t be restored till the normalcy returns and gun culture is over.
An observer said, “It won’t be easy for the regional parties to make a comeback as the situation has changed drastically. Centre’s move has left the local politicians with only a few options. They are in a tight spot and in a very difficult situation.”
He said, “The developments which have taken place during the past one year are a clear indication that New Delhi is in no mood to listen to the leaders of regional parties and it wants to handle J&K in its own way.”
The observer said that Kashmir based parties are trying to put their act together but the emerging situation is a clear hint that the road ahead is bumpy. “The only political party which is active at present in J&K is Bharatiya Janata Party. Other parties are finding it very hard to make a new beginning,” he added.
Another analyst said, “If National Conference continues to demand J&K’s special status and statehood back then it has to prepare itself for a long drawn battle. Even the Congress party seems to have acknowledged the change in J&K’s status-quo. Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad during his recent meeting with Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, maintained silence over the abrogation of J&K’s special status and just talked about statehood.”