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ULB polls: Message from Jammu, Ladakh unambiguous
Days of Kashmir hegemony over
10/19/2018 9:52:25 PM
Early Times Report
JAMMU, Oct 19: The just-held Urban Local Bodies elections in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh have cleared many cobwebs of confusion and established that Jammu and Ladakh have nothing to do with the type of politics the so-called Kashmiri mainstream had been indulging in since 1947 and that they were, and are, for India and there is no meeting ground between Jammu-Ladakh and Kashmir.
The people of Jammu and Ladakh rejected outright the Kashmir-based parties' politics of boycott and blackmail, coupled with threats, and showed them their place by exercising their right to vote on an unprecedented scale. Jammu broke the record. Almost 70 per cent of the eligible voters exercised their right to vote, thus telling Abdullahs and Muftis of Kashmir that they had no locus standi in Jammu and that they preferred development and democracy over the NC's autonomy and the PDP's self-rule.
The most remarkable aspect of the whole situation in Jammu was the manner in which all - Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs - exercised their franchise. The areas where the Muslims were so numerous also called the bluff of the Abdullahs and Muftis by coming out of their houses to cast their votes. The electoral scene of Jammu's Rajouri, Poonch, Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban districts was no different from its other districts, including Kathua, Samba, Jammu, Udhampur and Reasi. If Rajouri witnessed 82 per cent polling, Lakhanpur in Kathua witnessed as high as 93 per cent polling.
The story of the trans-Himalayan Ladakh was no different. It also rebuffed the autonomywalas and selfrulewalas and witnessed a high voter turn out. It's Shia-majority Kargil witnessed also 78 per cent voter turnout. As for Buddhist-majority Leh, the voter turnout was 56 per cent. The people of Leh would have done much better had the weather been good. It was the bad weather which forced many people to stay put in their houses.
The nature of mandate in Jammu and Ladakh and virtually no polling in Kashmir have sent a clear message to the Centre that it will have to revise its policy so that the 70-year-old Kashmir's hegemony over the state polity, economy and social institutions was broken and Jammu and Ladakh got what they were refused by New Delhi at the instance of the dictatorial Kashmir. New Delhi will be at the receiving end in Jammu and Ladakh if it ignored the nature of the mandate in these two regions. The fact of the matter is that the 2018 ULB elections have turned out to be a curtain-raiser and that the Kashmiri leaders have become irrelevant in these two strategic regions, they considered as the Kashmir's two colonies.
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