Cong May Face A Bumpy Ride In J&K

Cong May Face A Bumpy Ride In J&K

9 December 2013
The New Indian Express
Fayaz Wani

Srinagar: The mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir feel that the Congress drawing a blank in the four Assembly elections will jolt its prospects in the 2014 Parliamentary and Assembly elections in the state, but the Congress has rejected the opinion saying, “J&K politics is different”. Moderate separatist leader and cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq termed Delhi polls results encouraging and said the people seem to have shun their traditional mindset created by the political parties. He said they hope that this pragmatism will reflect in the attitude regarding Kashmir issue as well. “We hope the new thinking and new setup will adopt a realistic policy on Kashmir based on the principles of justice and fair play and shun the unrealistic inhibitions on the issue,” added Mirwaiz. “The results of Assembly elections in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh have proved that it was anti-Congress wave. No Modi-factor was involved,” Mustafa Kamal, senior NC leader and uncle of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said. He said the results may make situation worse for the Congress in the state. Kamal said the party will also lose ground in Jammu, where the BJP is more active. He, however, was quick to add that the Modi-wave would not work in the state as people won’t vote for parties with a communal agenda.J&K BJP president and MLA Jugal Kishore was upbeat over the election results and party’s performance. “There is anti-Congress wave in as it failed to control corruption and inflation. Besides, there is a Modi-wave across the country as people pin hope on him for rescuing the country from corruption, inflation and unemployment,” he said. Kishore said Modi and the BJP wave is prominent in J&K and said the turn out at Modi’s “Lalkar rally” in the state proved that. “The NC-Congress coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir has failed to fulfil promises made during elections in 2008. The prices of essentials have sky-rocketed, unemployment is growing and there is no end to corruption,” he said adding that the BJP will fare well in the state at the expense of other parties, especially the Congress. However, state Congress vice-president Mohammad Muzaffar Parray claimed that party’s rout in four states won’t affect the Congress in J&K polls. “Delhi politics or for that matter politics of any state is different from J&K. Our political story is different. What works in other parts of the country may not work here,” he said. Stating that the party has strengthened its base in Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh, Parray said a Kejriwal-like factor won’t have any impact in Kashmir because all major parties - the Congress, NC and PDP - have their bases in the state. The voter, he said, is mature enough and will vote for the person who provides good governance. PDP spokesman Nayeem Akhter was guarded saying, “essential beauty of democracy is empowerment of voters. As far as our party is concerned, we are trying to unite all three regions of the state irrespective of population,” he said adding they don’t know whether Modi-wave will impact J&K polls. Jammu-based National Panthers Party chief Bhim Singh in a statement said defeat of the Congress in four states has given the message that electorates, particularly the youth and intelligentsia, need change in the governance and shall support any fresh alternative in place of “corrupt and outdated parties.” “People of J&K are looking for an alternative to the NC-Congress alliance in the state,” he said. There is an opportunity for the regional political parties to provide an effective, corruption free and honest governance, he added.