Recent Election Results from Kashmir


Results of Parliamentary Elections in Jammu And Kashmir State in the month of May 2009 have baffled many and shocked some. The ruling coalition partners National Conference and National Congress fought these elections jointly, on seat sharing basis. For all three seats in the Kashmir Valley, it was decided for the National Conference to contest, while two seats of Jammu Division and one seat of Ladakh Division were left for the National Congress to contest, even though National Conference had initially indicated its reluctance to leave the Ladakh seat for the National Congress.

All three seats of the Valley were won by the National Conference lead by Dr.Farooq Abdullah. Two seats of Jammu were snatched by the National Congress. The single seat of Ladakh was taken by an independent (a National Conference proxy candidate) who was helped by the National Conference with a view to create a bargaining chip during government formation at the Centre. Farooq Abdullah, head of the National Conference party did not hesitate to play the old game of pulling the rug under the National Congress by such local machinations and his son Omar Abdullah connived with his silence. This was least expected of Omar, he being considered to be a pragmatic and clean man.

Though a good number of candidates, including the ones from the PDP fought for three seats of the Valley; what was of significance was the fact that Sajad Lone, a die hard separatist member of the Hurryat Conference contested from Baramullah constituency of the Valley. This he did in defiance of the boycott call of the other separatists. It was incredulous for the people of the Valley to see the same Sajad tame himself to fight the elections who had wanted to lead emotive crowds to Pakistan only last year, at the time of Amarnath Board Land Row. It also stunned the separatists to see their ally Sajad Lone throwing his hat in the ring to participate in the democratic process of elections. Sajad not only contested the elections but also admitted that the approach and measures of the separatists to boycott Assembly Elections in the past were misplaced and did not yield any result for Kashmiri Muslims. That is why, he felt that Kashmiri Muslims came in large numbers to the polling booths to vote in the 2008 elections, rejecting the polity of hate and violence propagated by the separatists. To amuse his audience Sajad declared that he had retrospected on his and on Hurryat’s Kashmir politics and had come to the conclusion to change his approach and start participating in the political process of elections. All political Pundits and social analysts evinced keen interest in this change of stance of the separatist Sajad, who inherited politics from his slain father, founder-sponsor of the People’s Conference. However, he was relegated to third position, behind the PDP and the National Conference.

Sajad Lone must have received the shock of his life, to be defeated by the same people of the Valley whom he claimed to be leading. Voters had rejected outright his convoluted politics of dissension and disruption. He had been cut to size and made to realize the folly of his politics of hatred and violence. Even more so the track two honchos at Delhi must have been stunned to see the fallacy of their arguments, which accord undue space to all such non-actors like Sajad in the State. It is simply a grotesque irony that this sentimental lad Sajad parleyed last year with the Prime Minister of India to resolve the Kashmir tangle. Our politicians need to develop a clear political vision and our bureaucracy needs to revamp the science of intelligence collection at ground level in order to guide our politicians correctly.

The defeat of Sajad Lone proves that he has no sympathizers in Kashmir excepting his henchmen whom he deploys on special errands from time to time, of fomenting public dissent on non issues. His defeat must have stunned his compatriots in Hurrayat and other separatist groups who were watching his political tantrums with bated breath so that they could also take a plunge at a suitable future date. That may have seemed to be a good  option for them as their grapes from across the border have turned sour, with Pakistan sinking in its own debris of ethnic contradictions and clerical fundamantalism.

By also defeating all PDP candidates in the Valley, Kashmiri Muslims have openly rejected the soft face of militancy which played havoc with Kashmiri psyche for the last eight years. Kashmiri Muslims need to be hailed to have seen the duplicity of the PDP in its day to day functioning, when it was in government. It totally failed to balm the physical and mental wounds of those common Kashmiri Muslims who have been at the receiving end of both the terrorists and the security agencies. If it could do anything, it was to create a class of its own insurgents, who knew the art of browbeating people of the state and blackmailing the Central Govt. Kashmiri Muslims rightly punished the PDP for its malicious role of division and disruption when people of the State needed healing, amity and balming. It is therefore the right time now for PDP to mend its means and make itself relevant to the composite nature and needs of the State. They should understand that healthy traditions for re-establishment of democratic process for living and governance need to be reestablished. There is no need and justification for a communal and sectarian political dispensation in a secular democratic Indian State.

On another note, the recent Parliamentary Elections in the State provided an ideal opportunity for coalition partners (National Conference and National Congress) and all others who claim to be nationalists and secular to break out of their shells of region, caste and religion and to transcend their ethnic limitations and prejudices. They needed to think and act big in national and secular interests. But sadly it did not happen. While distributing the seats between themselves, both the National Conference and the National Congress fell victim to the age old formula of leaving Kashmir Muslim seats for Muslim centric National conference and Jammu seats for National Congress. It could have been a move of diplomacy to nominate at least one Congress candidate for Kashmir seats and a Conference candidate for Jammu seats and then make joint efforts to make them win. That would not have been an impossible task if both the parties would have canvassed and fought jointly and honestly. At this time people of the State are already frustrated with the negative policies of the separatists, whose sheen has already weaned off by the impact of prevailing conditions in Pakistan. That country seems to be on the brink of disintegration and collapse, depends for survival on the U.S.A and is therefore not able to lend moral support to the separatists in the State.

Overall, the people of the State voted for peace, development and stability, rejecting outright the forces of fundamentalism and separatism. It was a positive vote of the State for all inclusive composite growth and for peace and amity.

*P.N.Ganjoo was born in a modest Kashmiri family about 7 decades ago, lost his father early and was raised by his honest, hardworking mother. With her efforts he received his education in Srinagar and went on to serve in various Government Departments before retiring as a senior grade KAS officer.

Presently he is working on his varied interests besides being a consulting Director of a software services company.

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The libral participation in the state assembly elections despite the stern boycott appeal of the separatist leaders has put a big brouser on the people at the helm in both Srinagar and Delhi. The common man has shown clear his pro-India stand and it's for the authorites now to take the right decisions and honour the verdict of the masses.
Added By JL Bhat
Namaskar to all of u.. for it were not election, becz names of kashmiri pandits were missing, instead of promoting participation, it is decreasing on poltical front.we need to disclose this world wht happened in 1989-90.we need to show plight of kashmiri this world....that would actually elections..for us...and REAL DEMOCTRACY.....
Added By kanwal bali