The boycott call brings us no solace at international plane
Assembly elections are scheduled for 2014. But political observers anticipate it may happen earlier. They have an eye on NC-Congress spat. I think elections will be held as per the schedule. The coalition led by NC has not done anything extraordinary during past five years in office which would encourage it to obtain people’s mandate. Sajjad group of Peoples Conference has almost initiated election campaign. It is certain that the son of Abdul Ghani Lone the Martyr and the son in law of Amanullah are going to take part in elections. Many others are waiting in the wings. BJP has opened its office in the valley and is busy establishing a foothold. We have said that fair and impartial elections aimed at solving the problems of people should not be considered a contagious disease. Before I support participation in elections with the objective of safeguarding the interests of the people, I must say I personally am not eligible for fighting any election. Therefore my support to participation does not carry any personal interest nor do I default those who want to boycott elections. But I would like to clarify some points.
1. Boycott means casting zero per cent votes. That would convince the world that Kashmiri nation has no interest in the elections. But partial boycott reduces the importance of boycott message. In most of the places 60 to 70 per cent votes are polled and people believe this is going to solve their problems.
2. If boycott is observed in any electoral constituency, the voters of NC< Congress or PDP come out to cast their votes. The result is that a candidate from one of these parties emerges as victorious and thus the doors remain closed for a really meritorious and capable candidate.
Despite strong boycott appeal elections of 1996 brought NC full majority vote.The State is a multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-lingual state. Freedom struggle is not widespread throughout the State. In Jammu region, Ladakh and Kargil people take full part in elections. In the valley itself, only that segment of people remains aloof from electioneering which is disgruntled with Indian system for one or the other reason. Those supporting accession to Pakistan or Kashmir’s Complete freedom is included among them. Members of NC, Congress and PDP in the valley take full part in the elections and propagate for their party candidates vigorously. A number of people become candidates for assembly seats in a given constituency and they all impress upon their relatives and friends to cast vote to them. They even succeed in roping in such voters in their constituencies as are known for their pro-Pakistan and pro-independence tendency. The fact is that in the valley voting ranges between 40 to 50 per cent at some places and 60 to 70 per cent at other places. The average figures of entire stated touch 70 or 80 per cent. Through local media people come to know about the average of votes cast in different constituencies in Kashmir. But on international level the figures given on state level are taken into account.