June 2016 News

Not Rallies, It Is Door-to-door Campaign In Anantang

7 June 2016
Kashmir Reader
Shabir Ahmad

Anantnag: Unlike previous elections when political parties organised big rallies as a show of strength, this time for the Anantnag bypoll all the major political parties, the PDP, NC and Congress, have preferred to do door-to-door campaigning. The bypoll scheduled on June 22 is taking place to elect a legislature from the assembly seat which has fallen vacant after former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's death on January 7. The Election Commission of India had earlier announced the bypoll on May 16 but later postponed it on the request of the state government, which cited law and order concerns. A total of eight candidates are in the fray. There are five independents, candidates of the two major opposition parties NC and Congress, and chief minister Mehbooba Mufti herself. Since the announcement of the date of the bypoll, not a single party has so far organised a rally or convention in any part of the constituency. This is quite unlike what happened in previous elections. Party candidates accompanied by other leaders are going door to door and holding small meetings in mohallas and villages. Congress candidate from the constituency Hilal Ahmad Shah said that door-to-door campaigning was 'always' more effective than organising big rallies. 'You reach out to everyone and personally convince them to vote. Had I done this last time, I am sure I would have won the seat,' Shah said. Shah had secured more than 10,000 votes in the last assembly election which was won by Mufti Sayeed who secured 16,000 votes. Shah said that this time he was meeting people in every corner of the constituency. 'People have lost all the faith in PDP after the party disrespected their mandate by forging alliance with the BJP. The response I am getting makes me certain that my vote share will double this time,' Shah said. NC candidate Iftikhar Misgar is also busy knocking on the doors of voters. 'Our strength is our people. That is why I have decided to go for door-to-door campaigning. I meet people and listen to them. The party (NC) has over 7,000 cadre votes in the constituency. All these votes are in our kitty. But I will try to seek support from everyone to ensure the win,' Misgar said. Misgar said that people of Anantnag were politically mature and had realised how the PDP had for the sake of power disrespected their vote. To ensure the victory of their party candidate, three other NC legislators from south Kashmir - Abdul Majid Larmi, Altaf Ahmad Wani and MLC Bashir Ahmad Veeri - are accompanying Misgar on his visits to various villages of the constituency. The NC legislators, sources said, were also visiting their own friends and acquaintances to seek votes for Misgar. The PDP's mode of campaign is no different. Several party leaders including the south Kashmir coordinator Sajad Mufti, and district president for Anantnag, Advocate Javed, are busy holding small meetings with workers in various mohallas and villages where they are promising development. 'We have been meeting the people in their localities to seek their support. We will organise big rallies later. People of Anantnag are wise enough to decide whom to vote for. We are sure of victory by a huge margin,' Advocate Javed said.