Srinagar, Nov 10: Forthcoming District Development Commission elections in Jammu and Kashmir are a big challenge for the Kashmir based parties as these polls will allow regional parties to test the waters after the abrogation of J&K’s special status.
An analyst while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “Decision of the Peoples’ Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (an amalgam of seven mainstream parties in Kashmir) is a wise move. Had these parties boycotted these elections it would have left the ground open for others to make inroads before the assembly elections could be held.”
He said, “If mainstream parties have to remain relevant then participation in any election process is mandatory. These parties cannot survive by staying away from the electoral process.”
“The forthcoming DDC polls are the first elections in J&K after the revocation of Articles 370 and 35-A. The results of these polls will be a precursor of how things will shape up in the changed political scenario of J&K,” the analyst added.
A politician said, “Since the day PAGD—headed by National Conference and six other political parties, including Peoples Democratic Party— has announced that it will participate in the elections, activities have started at the ground level and the process to identify the candidates who will contest the elections has commenced.”
He said, “The political activities have restarted and it appears that things have started moving. The PAGD has been formed to seek the restoration of the Article 370 but we cannot stay away from the democratic process till J&K’s special status is restored.”
An observer said, “Kashmir based parties are aware of the fact that they are in a difficult situation and by coming together they have made an attempt to rejuvenate their grass root party cadre which has stood isolated since more than a year. The ultimate aim of the politics is power and this fact cannot be ignored. When the PAGD was formed its leaders had said that their aim and intention are to fight for the restoration of pre-August 4, 2019 position and they have got nothing to do with the power politics but the announcement of the DDC polls had put them in a tight spot.”
He said, “If people come out to vote and PAGD is able to win good number of seats it will help the alliance to enter into some sort of bargain with New Delhi. If the alliance doesn’t perform well it can lead to worst ever crisis within the Kashmir based parties. Now, it’s do or die situation for them.”