JK union territory is gearing up for the first election in 2022. Political parties including three former chief Ministers – Farook Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, and Mehbooba Mufti, have started coming out of their hiatus since Aug 5, 2019. Once the election which is supposed to be held in Sept/Oct is completed, the abnormal ground situation in Kashmir may create some surprises. Though Farook Abdullah led PAGD, a grouping of the National Conference, People’s Democratic Party, and the CPM formed in 2020 is planning to fight it out together. However, its performance in the District Development Council election in 2020 was far from a symbol of unity. Congress was not a party to this group. Two more parties Apni Party and People’s Conference managed to pull out candidates from the PAGD constituents.
SITUATION IN KASHMIR
The parties are bogged down in various problems. Two former legislatures Aga Ruhullah of Budgam and Ishfaq Jabbar of Ganderbal
have expressed their dissatisfaction with the National Conference. The Congress is fraught with infighting. Again People’s Demicratic Party is in deep trouble as 16 of its elected candidates have left the party. 10 of them gave joined the Apni party and 4 Lone’s People’s Conference parties.
SITATION IN JAMMU
BJP is the single party in Jammu with its 25 seats in the earlier election and has succeeded in poaching 3 candidates from National Conference. A veteran Congress leader of the National level had left the Party and his independent stance will be of help to the BJP – they believe. W
OPINION OF THE POLITICAL PARTIES ABOUT THE IMPENDING ELECTION
Except for BJP all political parties are talking about the restoration of statehood and the special status of J&K. NC spokesperson Imran Dar says that they will be fighting for the restoration of Article 370 and 35(A). People’s Conference says that importantly there will be a fight between Jammu and Kashmir. BJP is hopeful of winning sizable seats. They strongly believe that the BJP led central govt is doing everything to empower the people at the grass root level,
BJP says very clearly that the formation of govt is not the property of any family or any region. It is believed by an intellectual of Kashmir Khalid Wasim Hassam that parties in Kashmir will do nothing differently if an election is held in 2O22 except follow a set agenda just to remain in power. People only hope that the election will bring to an end the political uncertainty in the state and there will be an atmosphere of peace in the UT.