Srinagar, Nov 13: The battle lines have been drawn for the forthcoming District Development Council elections slated to be held from November 28 in eight phases across Jammu and Kashmir.
All the major political parties of J&K are taking part in these polls, which are the maiden elections since the revocation of J&K’s special status on August 5, 2019.
Kashmir bases parties, including National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party, Peoples Conference and four more political formations have formed a joint front under the banner of Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD). The Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee also formally joined PAGD on Friday.
An analyst while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “The Valley based parties coming together has put Bharatiya Janata Party, Apni Party and other small political formations that are out of the ambit of PAGD in a tight spot. Many people were expecting that regional parties in Kashmir will stay away from the election process and it would make things easy for other parties. But now we can witness a close contest between all the political parties.”
He said, “The regional parties that have come together in Kashmir are hoping that they will be able to win maximum number of seats in Kashmir and may be Congress can chip in Jammu region and win some DDC constituencies. The aim of regional parties seems to gain control over the DDC boards so that they can sneak into the power corridors and make their presence felt. The politicians are aware of the fact that if they stay away from power for long it can lead to their parties turning irrelevant.”
An observer said, “The PAGD jumping into the poll fray is a big test for the BJP and the newly formed Apni Party. Both these parties will have to work very hard to make inroads into the areas where PAGD candidates are on good turf. With all the Kashmir based parties sharing a common platform, these parties look very strong in the Valley as only one candidate is contesting on the behalf of all the parties. It means there is no possibility about votes getting divided.”
A politician said, “The forthcoming DDC polls are a big challenge for the regional parties in Kashmir. The election campaign of these parties will be interesting to watch. We have to see what all issues will the politicians raise to seek votes. But one thing is for sure that promise to fight for restoration of J&K’s special status could be one of the key issues.”