After spurt in activities, political parties go silent 

Afaq Bhat

Srinagar, Sep 9: Political activities in Kashmir which had seen a sudden spurt last month seem to have lost the tempo.
Regional parties in Kashmir after signing the “Gupkar Declaration” to seek restoration of Articles 370 and 35-A have once again gone into oblivion. On the death anniversary of National Conference founder late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, NC president Dr Farooq Abdullah evaded the query of reporters on Articles 370 and 35A and spoke about other things.
A Kashmir watcher said, “Regional parties in Kashmir seem to have realized that after August 5, 2019 (when Centre abrogated J&K’s special status and bifuricated it into two union territories), they have lost their bargaining power. New Delhi appears to be in no mood to listen to them. Nor are the leaders, who ruled J&K for so long being taken seriously anymore.”
He said, “Sooner or later assembly elections will be held in Jammu and Kashmir and if Kashmir based parties have to survive then they will have to contest the polls. These political formations cannot turn their backs and leave the field open for the Bharatiya Janata Party.”
An analyst while talking to Precious Kashmir said that Dr Farooq Abdullah maintaining silence over Articles 35A and 370 could be a hint that NC wants to move on and is “no mood” to follow the footsteps of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
It’s in place to mention here that former J&K chief minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti continues to be under house detention and she is the only politician in the Valley who has not been released since August 5, 2019.
“At present PDP is at the crossroads as only a few people have been left in the party. Others have already said goodbye to it. Politicians cannot survive without power, and if they don’t follow the new political rules they will turn into spectators, who will have no role other than watching the developments from outside,” the analyst added.
An observer said that Dr Farooq Abdullah not talking about Articles 35A and 370 is a clear hint that NC wants to remain relevant and its leaders have realized that “sitting on the fence” won’t serve any purpose. “But we cannot read too many things between the lines. Maybe for time being the NC wants to avoid controversies as party leaders know that they have an uphill task at their hands,” he added.

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