Step by step political process must continue there.
The first public opinion of the people of Jammu & Kashmir after the abrogation of article 370 and trifurcation of the state has come out through ballot paper for the election held for District Development Council (DDC). As was expected Valley has voted overwhelmingly for Gupkar alliance parties but Jammu had gone to BJP. Gupkar alliance consisting of National Conference, PDP, Left and people’s conference was formed few months before when iron grip of state machinery was a bit untighted and some space for political activities was granted. The main purpose of coming together of these parties is to restore the status quo that exist before 5th August 2019 when the parliament has passed the bill to abrogate article 370 and trifurcate the state. In the meantime government of India decided to conduct the elections for District development council earlier the alliance parties have refused to join the election fray but later the good sense prevailed and they together fought these elections.
According to the declared results the six party alliance has consolidated its position in nine out of ten district in valley and three district of Peer Panjal and Chenab valley of Jammu region. The alliance has won 110 seats out of 280 and BJP has emerged as the single largest party winning 75 seats but it has done very poor in the valley and had got good support from Hindu consolidated regions of Jammu, Samba, Udhampur and Kathua from where it got maximum seats whereas in valley it has got only three seats in Srinagar, Bandipore and Pulwama that too due to local factors and influence of its candidate. Thus Gupkar alliance together with Congress and left may have its chairman in 12 or 13 districts in J&K out of 20 districts of the state BJP with the help of some independents may get chairmanship of 5-6 .Fifty independents have also won and they may swing balance in favour of any side that will be interesting to watch.The alliance has expressed the fear that polls will be rigged but this fear is allayed by the final result. But there is no denying the fact that alliance and Congress leaders were not allowed to campaign as freely as the BJP leaders and candidates were doing. Their movement was restricted and some other prohibitions were imposed upon them at the name of security. Not only this the sudden move against these political stalwarts in the Roshni land scam cricket scam and other cases by the ED arrest of senior PDP leader Waheedur Rahman immediately after he filed nomination all were undesirable and avoidable steps, but by and large the elections were free and un manipulated.
Main development is that the political process in J&K has started and people have overwhelmingly joined it. Not only this, the separtists and the extremists have not campaigned for the boycott of these elections as they use to do earlier. However, frequent encounters and local youths joining militancy in the past one year i.e. since abrogation of its special status has resulted in the less turn out almost 20%
Gupkar alliance chairman and former Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah and other leaders are claiming their victory as rejection of government of India’s decision to abrogate article 370 and expression of people’s desire to get it restored their special status together with article 35.The overwhelming victory of Gupkar alliance is definitely the expression of the mood of Kashmiris and it must be respected. The ball is in Supreme Court’s court as the constitutionality of the parliamentary decision of abrogating article 370 is under its consideration. Nobody expects Modi government to take a U turn on abrogation of article 370 and restoring special status of J&K but SC has to take an immediate decision so that the atmosphere of uncertainty is over. The elections of DDC are a step forward towards restoration of political process in the state these elections must be followed with giving more space to political process restoration of state hood as was promised by government of India and holding assembly elections there. The sooner it is done the better for the state its people and for the rest of the nation.