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Security: Poll time concern in Kashmir

[ March 18, 2017 ]

With the two main opposition mainstream parties National Conference (NC) and Congress voicing concerns over Kashmir’s worsening security scenario amid the announcement of poll schedule by the Election Commission for Anantnag and Srinagar Lok Sabha constituencies, the government has the bigger challenge of providing a satisfying security arrangement for the election rallies to be held by the contesting candidates particularly those owing allegiance to the opposition parties. The incidents of protests near the encounter sites pose a bigger challenge to the state police. Though Director General Police Dr S.P Vaid has assured that police would provide the best possible security to both the poll contestants and the polling staff but in presence of the worsening security scenario the tendency of people to participate in the poll campaigning of the candidates of either the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) or the NC-Congress combine is not increasing the way it was witnessed in last lok sabha and assembly elections and more so in South Kashmir districts. So by all standards of understandabilities the worsening security scenario more so in Soyth Kashmir districts is likely to bring down the poll percentage trends which by any probability would not be even half of that what was recorded in last lok sabha and assembly elections. In fact the people across Kashmir are yet to recover from the pain of pellets and bullets experienced during last year’s six month long unrest and an election in presence of trust deficit caused by about hundred civilian deaths within a short span of less than six month does not find any takers for elections on the ground in both Srinagar and Anantnag parliamentary constituencies comprising seven districts and 31 assembly segments.
With central government controlled and commanded by BJP under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking no measures for addressing the increasing alienation between the people and the state government headed by Mehbooba Mufti led Peoples’ Democratic Party, it is apparently clear that leaving causes of the last year’s unrest unaddressed is the reason for increasing challenges confronting the state government in the conduct of bye elections to two Lok Sabha constituencies in Kashmir valley. Assuring foolproof security to the opposition for both the electioneering and polling process is not sufficient enough for addressing the security concerns of NC-Congress combine but to imbibe a sense of security among all the poll contestants ,better would it be for the government to take on board all the opposition parties on the security arrangements to be put in place for the conduct of bye elections to the two lok sabha seats in valley.