‘Mumbai Attacks Will Not Affect J-K Polls’

27 November 2008
The Indian Express

New Delhi: The election campaigning in the Valley continued in full swing and candidates’ are expecting a high turnout in the next phase despite the Terror attacks in Mumbai. “The attacks in Mumbai will have no ramifications on the elections in Kashmir,” said Sharif-ud-din Shariq, the National Conference candidate from Langate. “Had the attacks been in the Valley, the elections might have shaped differently but violence in Mumbai has no impact in Kashmir”. The five Assembly segments of Kupwara district - Kupwara, Karnah, Langate, Handwara and Lolab - are going to the polls on November 30 in the third phase of the seven-phase polls. And with Friday as the last day of campaigning, political parties organised several rallies in the all the five segments. The National Conference organised a massive public rally in Handwara, where the party has fielded former forest minister, Chowdhary Mohammad Ramzan. In Langate, the party organised road shows in more than 20 villages on Thursday. “We don’t think that the Mumbai attacks will have any bearing on the ongoing elections in Kashmir,” Ramzan told The Indian Express. “The voter turnout in Kupwara will be high, more than 60 per cent. Only today, we addressed a rally of about 15,000 people in Handwara. After seeing people turn up in such huge numbers, I do not think that voters will be hesitant to come out to vote on Sunday.”