The political atmosphere in Jammu and Kashmir has once again revived with the Centre holding District Development Council (DDC) elections after one and a half year of political winter post abrogation of limited-autonomy. The regional political parties earlier had claimed not to contest any elections and rather expressed dissent against the Centre for its constitutional changes in J-K, where many new laws were also imposed.
Both the National Conference (NC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) were expected by people to change their political activities, as they had claimed so too, but it turned out to be nothing different. With the announcement of the DDC elections, a week later, the so-called People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), which was formed against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to restore the pre-August situation, decided to contest elections together.
The decision didn’t come as a surprise to people, most of whom have long seen the regional parties as to the reason for people’s suffering. It was the NC that formed the government after the 1996 elections, a period when thousands of Kashmiris were killed in the conflict. Post that it was the PDP that formed an alliance with the same BJP. Both the political parties have been in alliance with the same BJP, which they claim is a threat to people. However, the decision to contest the DDC elections seems more to gain power than providing any relief to the local population.
The question remains, are these political parties honest enough when it comes to the people of Kashmir? History has shown otherwise and the post-August politics has only strengthened the historical betrayals committed by these politicians for the sake of power. It is time for these political parties to get over their power-hungry politics and take a keen look around, consult people, on what is the way forward for the better future of Jammu and Kashmir.