Peaceful Campaigning Relief For J&K Netas

22 December 2008

Srinagar: With polls in Jammu just days away, an elated National Conference president Omar Abdullah was busy seeking votes from houseboat dwellers for father and party candidate Farooq Abdullah. His face clearly showed relief that campaigning this time around was more or less free from bloodshed. 'I am extremely relieved and pleased with the way campaigning has gone. By the grace of God it has been one of the most peaceful campaigns in the last couple of decades,' he said. During the 2002 elections, more than 600 people were killed in militant violence. But this time, only one person fell victim to it. This lull in violence, many believe, was one of the main reasons behind the high voter turnout. And while Omar tested waters of the Dal, hoping to change his party's fortunes, PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti also made a last ditch effort in Srinagar city that goes to polls on December 24. As the campaigning for last phase of polling reached its climax, this is the most fascinating display of electioneering in Jammu and Kashmir. But Omar Abdullah biggest worry would be - will the election results be a smooth sailing for his party as cruising on the calm waters of Dal lake?