By: Afaq Bhat
Srinagar: Political activities have started gaining momentum in Kashmir and the leaders of different parties are dropping enough hints about assembly elections in J&K being on cards.
National Conference president and former J&K chief minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, has made it clear that his party would contest the elections whenever these are announced. Peoples Conference led By Sajad Gani Lone, Apni Party headed by Altaf Bukhari and other parties too have made their intentions clear to participate in the electoral process.
An analyst while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “It appears that the elections could be held even without J&K’s statehood being restored.”
He said, “Most of the political parties have realized that if they stay away from the election process it would be a loss for them. Dr Farooq Abdullah recently regretted that his party didn’t participate in the Panchayat polls that were held three years ago.”
It’s in place to mention here that when Panchayat elections were held in Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party had boycotted the process.
A politician said, “With or without statehood, political parties in Jammu and Kashmir are ready for elections. It appears that the Centre is waiting for the delimitation exercise to get over and once the process is completed things will start moving.”
He said, “Politicians cannot do anything for the people by staying away from the system. If we have to work for the development of the common masses and have to fight for their rights then participating in the democratic process is mandatory.”
In the recent past a few political activists have joined the Peoples Conference and the party is trying to make its presence felt by holding small gatherings and organizing joining ceremonies. On the other hand, the Apni Party too has started political activities.
Recently Apni Party president Altaf Bukhari, said that if his party comes into power it will provide 300 units of electricity free to the consumers, while Peoples Conference president Sajad Lone has been claiming that only his party can bring the change which the people are waiting for. NC President Dr Farooq Abdullah, has exuded hope that whenever elections are held his party would sweep the polls and emerge as a single largest political formation in the changed political setup of Jammu and Kashmir.
An observer said, “Once the delimitation exercise is completed and the boundaries of assembly and parliamentary constituencies are redrawn political equations will change as the Jammu and Kashmir regions will have equal representation in the assembly. No one can predict how things will shape up but one thing is for sure that political parties will get their space back.”