|Abdullahs, Mufti fighting for very survival of their outfits in Kashmir|
|May 23 to decide fate NC, PDP|
|Early Times Report|
JAMMU, May 23: Election process to elect two Lok Sabha members from the Srinagar and Baramulla constituencies is over. Baramulla voted on April 11 and Srinagar on April 18. The election process in the Anantnag constituency is still on. Two of the three phases in the constituency are over and the final phase of the election is on May 6. Ladakh will also vote on May 6 to elect its lone Lok Sabha member.
Not one political player in Kashmir is sure as to what is in store for it. There are five main players who are testing volatile political waters in Kashmir. They include the NC, the Congress, the PDP, the BJP and the People's Conference.
Anything can happen in the Kashmir Valley. The reason is that the Valley-witnessed a very low voter-turnout in Srinagar and Anantnag constituencies and in the virtually non-ethnic Kashmiri Baramulla, the voter turnout was just moderate. In Srinagar, only 14.1% registered voters exercised their franchise and in Anantnag, only 13.60%, despite appeals repeatedly made by the NC president Farooq Abdullah and vice-president Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, all former Chief Ministers. In Baramulla, over 34% voters voted.
The low-voter turn out has all the potential of marring the poll prospects of Mehbooba Mufti in Anantnag, once considered her very stronghold. The worst aspect of the whole situation was that her hometown, Bijbehara, boycotted the poll. Only 2% of the registered voters voted for as many as 18 candidates, including Mehbooba Mufti, NC's Hasnain Masoodi, the Congress' GA Mir, the BJP's Sofi Yousus and the People's Conference's Jafar Ali. If one goes by the assessment of Omar Abdullah, then it can be said that the contest in Anantnag is triangular or the contest is between the PDP, the Congress and the BJP and the constituency could spring a surprise by electing Sofi Yousuf.
In Srinagar, the low voter-turnout could help Farooq Abdullah and make the PDP bite dust. The fact is that Mehbooba Mufti didn't even once campaign for her candidate Aga Syed Mohsin. Mohsin fended for himself. Reports suggest that the "BJP and the PC have no chance in Srinagar".
In Baramulla, the NC, the PDP, the Congress and the PC are the main players. Reports from Baramulla suggest that the "PC candidate Raja Aijaz Ali has an upper hand". Other prominent candidates are Haji Farooq Ahmad Mir (Congress), Mohammad Akbar Lone (NC), Mohammad Maqbool War (BJP).
This is the whole election scene in Kashmir Valley: Both the NC and the PDP are struggling to survive even in Kashmir Valley.