J and K election results: Democracy is the Winner
New Delhi, Dec 23:The successful completion of the District Development Council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir is a victory of democracy in the country. Held in the aftermath of upheavals caused by the revocation of Art 370, the DDC polls indicate green shoots of normalcy in the Valley. This should be cause for celebration. Wins and losses remain secondary.
Even in the best of times spanning the past four decades, the Kashmir division showed clear apathy for elections registering the lowest voter turnout in the country. The DDC polls were a turnaround. A good number of electorates came out to vote to ignore apprehensions of violence. The biggest and the most pleasant surprise was that the elections were held peacefully with the least violence as feared by authorities. Most of the eight rounds of polling exhibited good interest of voters as well as candidates. In many ways, the DDC elections can be considered as a turning point in the union territory of J and K. Surely, the Centre could not have wished for more.
The results too threw surprises, sending crucial signals. In Srinagar, the political hub of the valley’s mainstream parties, for example, eight of the 16 seats went to independents. It meant that the people in the capital city largely rejected the dynastic politics, the butt of attack mounted by the BJP. Voters seem to have begun to realize that the two principal mainline parties—the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party which alternately ruled the erstwhile state – feathered their own nests at the cost of the people. It was anybody’s guess that the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, an amalgam of eight parties in the Kashmir division, would win in the region. Even so, the BJP, the Apney Party propped up by it and the Independents largely influenced by the Centre gave a pretty good fight and won a considerable number of seats. Even the BJP’s worst critics acknowledge its feat of winning three seats in the Kashmir division, including one in Pulwama in South Kashmir, the epicenter of separatists violence. A seat in North Kashmir and another in Central Kashmir goes to prove that the BJP has registered its presence, howsoever minuscule, in all the regions. This is for the first time in seven decades that the party has won seats in Kashmir. BJP’s victory in the Jammu division was a foregone conclusion. However, its victory in some Muslim dominated regions in Jammu is noteworthy,
In the ultimate analysis, the elections have two major takeaways: people of J and K have more or less reconciled to the abrogation of its special status much as the Gupkar parties’ claims to the contrary and that the J and K firmly remains an integral and inalienable part of India, no matter what.
The Centre should now prepare grounds for elections to the J and K assembly. Only then would the political process become complete. People are yearning to play a role in development through a democratic process. The Narendra Modi Government should seize the moment and make the process of normalization further by planning for the assembly polls. This would pave the way for the restoration of full statehood and realization of the ultimate goal of making Jammu and Kashmir at par with any other state of India.
J and K election results/J and K election results/J and K election results
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