Srinagar, Nov 15: The forthcoming District Development Council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir are a precursor of how the politics in the newly carved out Union Territory will shape up in coming days.
A political analyst while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “Regional political parties in Kashmir have an uphill task at their hands. These parties will have to work very hard as they have to start from scratch. The Peoples Democratic Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (an amalgam of Kashmir based parties, including National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party) has coined a new slogan i.e. to fight for the restoration of August 4, 2019 position. The slogan is fine but the question is will the PAGD be able to get back what it’s promising to people?”
The analyst said, “The PAGD jumping into the poll fray is a bold step. The Valley based parties have driven home a point that they don’t want to leave the ground open for others. The traditional politicians have sent a message that they exist and cannot be written off.”
An observer said, “The forthcoming polls will decide who will emerge more powerful, Kashmir based political parties or the political formations in Jammu. Whenever, assembly elections are held in J&K UT, these will be a direct contest between Jammu and Kashmir leaders. Whoever emerges victorious will rule J&K.”
It’s in place to mention here that the DDC polls are the maiden elections in J&K after the abrogation of Article 370 and not many people had expected the Kashmir based parties to participate in this exercise.
“The PAGD’s decision to contest the DDC elections has put the newly formed Apni Party led by Altaf Bukhari in a spot of bother. Had the PAGD stayed away from the poll process, Apni Party would have found it easy to contest its first elections in J&K UT. Now, it faces a stiff competition in every constituency in Kashmir,” the observer added.
Recently, Apni Party president Altaf Bukhari had launched a scathing attack at the PAGD for changing its stand just within a month of its formation.
However, the PAGD vice-president Mehbooba Mufti without naming Bukhari rubbished what she termed, “propaganda.” “We have a bigger cause to fight for than bicker over DDC elections,” she said.
A politician said, “Had the PAGD decided to stay away from the DDC polls it would have turned the alliance weak and could have led to the amalgam getting divided even before being launched properly.”
“Ultimate aim of politics is power and no politician can stay away from power for long. Causes can be bigger but one needs a way to achieve these,” he added.