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news details
NC, PDP admit that they have no support-base in Jammu
Lok Sabha elections 2019
3/26/2019 11:54:30 PM
Early Times Report
JAMMU, Mar 26: Battle-lines in Jammu province are drawn. It's BJP Vs all, including the Congress, the Panthers Party (NPP), the Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan (DSS), the Shiv Sena, the BSP and who not. The one-point agenda of all the non-BJP parties and political groups is to ensure the defeat of the BJP and see to it that the BJP failed to repeat its 2014 show. All the non-BJP political groups in Jammu, who have taken the plunge, are attacking the BJP alone, thus trying to create an impression that the BJP was responsible for all the woes of the people, for all the problems Jammu province had been facing and for the neglect and under-development of Jammu province.
In 2014, the BJP had swept Jammu province and Ladakh province; it had won both the Lok Sabha seats in Jammu with huge margins defeat the Congress' bigwigs Ghulam Nabi Azad in the Kathua-Udhampur-Doda constituency and Madan Lal Sharma in the prestigious Jammu-Poonch Lok Sabha constituency. The BJP's Jugal Kishore Sharma had defeated Madan Lal Sharma by a whopping margin of over 2.30 lakh votes and Jitendra Singh, a novice in politics, had defeated GN Azad by over 60,000 votes. The BJP had also created a history of sorts by winning the lone Lok Sabha seat in the trans-Himalayan and strategic Ladakh province. It was Thupstan Chewwang, son in law of Queen of Ladakh, Rani Parvati, who had won the seats, of course, with a very slender margin of 36 votes.
That the contest this time is between BJP on the one side and all others on the other side constitutes just one of the two significant developments in Jammu province where the BJP was once termed as a party of "Kanak Mandi and Raghunath Bazar". The other most significant aspect of the whole election scene in Jammu province is the conspicuous absence of the NC, the so-called state's premier political organization, and the PDP, which was founded in 1999 by late Mufti Sayeed and his daughter Mehbooba Mufti and which ruled the state for more than 6 years and remained in power in the state for more than 9 years.
Neither the NC nor the PDP has fielded its candidates in the Jammu province. The NC has left both the Jammu seats for the Congress, asserting that seat-sharing arrangement between the NC and the Congress was "necessary to ensure the defeat of the BJP and ensure that the anti-BJP votes were not divided". The PDP also wanted to forge a pre-poll alliance with the NC and the Congress but both the parties ignored the pleas of Mehbooba Mufti. Notwithstanding the fact that the NC and the Congress paid no heed to her pleas, Mehbooba declared that "she would not field her candidates in Jammu so that the 'secular votes' were not divided".
The decision of the NC and the PDP to not field their candidates in Jammu province proved that both these parties have no say in the province and that they are no more than B-teams of the Congress -- the Congress which otherwise played the role of second fiddle in the state politics between 1975 and 2014. Their decision to not field their candidates in Jammu province has also vindicated those who had been saying again and again that the "NC and the PDP are Kashmiri and Valley-based parties" and that "they do not represent the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Ladakh". But more than that, their decision to not field their candidates in Jammu province has only helped policy-planners in New Delhi in the sense that they would now candidly tell the Abdullahs and the Muftis that they are no factors in Jammu.
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