J&K polling 'practical vote', says Karan Singh

8 December 2008
The Hindustan Times

New Delhi: The large turnout in the four phases of assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir despite boycott call by separatists could be a turning point in the state, senior Congress leader Karan Singh said on Monday. 'The turnout in Jammu and Kashmir was really very impressive. It belies the boycott called by the separatists,' the former regent of the state said here when asked to comment on the four phases of elections held in the state. Describing polling in Jammu and Kashmir as a 'practical vote', Singh said the people of the state like elsewhere in the country are 'interested in development, job opportunity and getting over their problems.' 'It (the vote) could be a turning point in Jammu and Kashmir,' he said. Singh, who was among the first Congress leaders to reach Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's residence to congratulate her on the party's victory, said 'the people of Delhi have voted for development and have defeated BJP's politics of confrontation.' 'This victory is a big achievement for Sheila Dikshit government which has changed the face of Delhi in last ten years of its rule,' he said after meeting the Chief Minister. 'It is a unique phenomenon in Indian politics where an incumbent government has won the election for three consecutive times. When asked whether Congress should view its policy of not declaring Chief Ministerial candidate before polls in view of the victory in Delhi led by Dikshit, he said 'there is no doubt that she was the face of the party in Delhi and it would be beneficial if party has consensus on Chief Ministerial candidates ahead of polls in other states also.' It, however, depends from state to state, he added.