Peoples Conference, Apni Party making their presence felt; NC, PDP lag behind
By: Afaq Bhat
Srinagar: The political parties in Jammu and Kashmir have started holding public meetings and reaching out to people, it’s an indication that these formations are gearing up for assembly elections that are likely to be held soon after the delimitation exercise (process to redraw parliamentary and assembly constituencies) in the Union Territory gets completed.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah during his recent J&K visit laid down the road map. He announced that after the delimitation process gets completed, elections will be held and after that the statehood will be restored.
An observer while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “The Home Minister has dropped enough hints that J & K would continue to remain a Union Territory and restoring statehood is not a priority.”
He said that political parties in J&K will have to contest the elections with or without the restoration of statehood. “Political parties like the Apni Party and the Peoples Conference have increased their activities in Kashmir. Both these parties are more visible than the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party. Many people have joined both these parties in the recent past. On the other hand traditional parties i.e. NC and PDP are not that active and are facing many problems,” the observer said, adding, “Many leaders have left PDP and the party is grappling with a number of issues. On the other hand people have started quitting the National Conference. Senior NC leaders from Jammu Devender Singh Rana and Surjeet Singh Salathia saying goodbye to the party have hit the NC hard in Jammu region. After both these leaders said goodbye many of their supporters followed them.”
A politician said, “The political equations are changing and there could be many surprises in the offing in coming days as one thing is for sure that elections will be held in Jammu and Kashmir in the next few months.”
BJP’s general secretary organization, Ashok Kaul, while addressing the party workers in Ramban asked them to prepare for assembly elections. He dropped enough hints about the assembly polls being in offing.
Kaul asked the BJP cadres to organize activities and reach out to the people with the party’s agenda. In Kashmir also Altaf Bukhari led Apni Party and Peoples Conference led by Sajad Gani Lone have been directing the workers to gear up.
“At this point of time political parties won’t emphasize on restoration of statehood, nor would any party take a chance about staying away from the elections. The polls will be held and entirely different permutations and combinations are likely to come to fore. No one can predict how things will shape up,” said an analyst.