The upcoming District Development Council polls in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir are turning out to be a hotly contested election as the BJP, the seven-party alliance of Gupkar and the INC fight it out. The BJP is characteristically ever prepared and has gone all guns blazing for the upcoming polls sparing no stone unturned to ensure a comfortable victory. The BJP’s preparedness and the opposition’s lack of enthusiasm have raised the possibilities of a rare BJP victory in Jammu & Kashmir.
Under the era of the Modi government, the BJP has gained a strong foothold in Jammu and it looks like they have a fair chance of winning in Kashmir too in the upcoming District Development Council polls.
The BJP has deployed its biggest minority leaders with Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Shahnawaz Hussain currently campaigning in the Union Territory. Senior party leaders Smriti Irani, Anurag Thakur, Zafar Islam, Jitendra Singh, Ramesh Pokhriyal and Krishna Pal Gurjar are also expected to campaign for the party for the upcoming polls.
Seeing the BJP’s popularity in J&K, the Abdullahs and Mufti are already frustrated. While crying foul after every BJP victory has been a hallmark of the INC, the Gupkar alliance has already begun crying foul even before the elections have completed, which is a clear indication of where the political winds are blowing in J&K.
The Modi government had only recently issued orders to move an additional 25,000 security personnel to the Union Territory ahead of the District Development Council (DDC) elections. This was reason enough for the Gupkar Gang to come out of their cocoons and cry foul, wiping the slate clean for their defeat in the DDC polls perhaps.
“The election is fast becoming a farce & also exposes the hollow claims of both the centre and state about the improved security situation in J&K,” Omar Abdullah said. Earlier on Wednesday, Abdullah and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti accused the J&K administration of favouring BJP and J&K Apni Party in the run-up to the DDC polls. Mehbooba went as far as alleging that non-BJP candidates for the DDC elections are not being permitted to campaign freely, even as Abdullah accused the J&K administration of using the security situation as a pretext to lock up candidates opposed to BJP.
For their own safety, owing to the threat posed to democracy by Islamist terrorists in the valley, the J&K administration is shifting the election candidates to ‘cluster accommodations’ as soon as they file the nomination papers due to an expected threat to their lives. This precautionary measure is somehow being dubbed a stifling of democracy by members of the Gupkar gang, who, owing to their inability to win elections, are now making flimsy excuses to somehow validate their imminent embarrassing defeat in the upcoming polls.
By saying that the candidates are not being allowed to campaign for the polls, the Gupkar gang is setting the stage to claim that the polls in the Union Territory were rigged at the behest of the BJP government in Delhi. This, even as the gang members refuse to acknowledge, leave alone condemn those elements that have necessitated the extra-deployment of security forces in the valley.
The BJP’s popularity on-ground is for everyone to see. When Shahnawaz Hussain reached Kashmir’s Budgam district, he was greeted enthusiastically with Pro-Modi slogans.
Recently, the BJP released a video where Kashmiri Muslims can be seen praising Prime Minister Modi which is quite significant as any public backing for the BJP or PM Modi has the potential to result in dire consequences if the recent murders of J&K BJP leaders by the terrorists is anything to go by. The murders of the BJP leaders can also lead to an emotional appeal strongly in favour of the party.
देखें.. माननीय प्रधानमंत्री श्री @narendramodi जी के लिए कश्मीर के आम मुसलमान का जुनून-जज़्बा।@ImRavinderRaina @AshokKoul59 @tarunchughbjp @ianuragthakur pic.twitter.com/wcYhYmgRG6
— BJP Jammu & Kashmir (@BJP4JnK) November 20, 2020
The next month is going to be extremely significant for J&K’s politics with the BJP standing a fair chance of winning the DDC polls, which will further expand the party’s ever-increasing footprint.