April 2019 News

Unlike North, Poll Mood Mostly Missing In Anantnag LS Seat

13 April 2019
Kashmir Times
E Ahmad

Anantnag: Unlike north Kashmir which went to polls yesterday, the poll fever in Anantnag parliamentary constituency comprising four southern districts of the Valley remains mostly missing. No posters or banners of political parties can be seen at public places anywhere in the restive parliamentary segment. The poll activity is being witnessed either at the offices of the political parties or in the far-off villages of some assembly segments which usually witness high voter turnout. A total of 18 candidates, five from major political parties, NC, PDP, Congress and BJP, three from lesser parties and 10 independents, including a non-state subject are in fray for the seat. Former chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti who was elected to the parliament from the seat in 2014 and later in April 2016 quit take over as chief minister of the state following her father's death is also one of the contestants. She is facing Congress party's state chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir and retired judge Hasnain Masoodi of National Conference. People's Conference headed by Sajad Lone has fielded Choudhary Zulfiqar while BJP has fielded its former MLC, Sofi Yusuf. With election mood by and large missing, the parties are now banking on the cadre vote and are holding meetings with their respective workers either in their offices or in the homes of dedicated workers. In Anantnag and Kulgam districts which are going to polls on April 23 and April 29 in separate phases, the major political parties have managed to hold few odd rallies at highly guarded Dak Bungalows with few hundreds of workers attending them. However, in Shopian and Pulwama, affected by militancy, the political parties, according to locals, have not been even able to organise even closed-door meetings. 'These twin districts have seen both the killing of militants in encounters and civilian killings by militants. There is both anger and fear in the area. The fear-stricken workers of the political parties, unlike some parts of Anantnag and Kulgam, are staying away from any poll activity. Poll mood is completely missing in both the districts. Situation is such that none of the political parties have been able to conduct any rallies even in high security zones,' said a local Mushtaq Ahmad who keeps close watch on the political happenings. It is only in some far off villages of Kokernag, Dooru, Shangas, Pahalgam and Devsar, the traditional high turnout areas in some election, that some political activity is being witnessed.