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news details
Votes at the cost of national security
Anantnag poll
5/5/2019 10:34:36 PM
Early Times Report
JAMMU, May 5: The third and last phase of election in the Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency will be held on Monday. The first two phases recorded a very low voter turnout, thus unnerving the leadership of the two essentially Kashmir-based parties, the National Conference (NC) and the People's Democratic Party (PDP). Both the parties on occasions more than one expressed dissatisfaction over the low voter turnout with none of them in a position to say that they will win the election from the highly volatile and militant-infested Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency.
Convinced that their poll prospects in the constituency are not bright, NC vice-president Omar Abdullah and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti used the period between April 23 and May 4 to arouse popular passions in the constituency by attacking the Modi Government from right and left and denouncing his Kashmir policy and urging the voters to come out in large number on May 6 to elect that candidate who could promote the "Kashmir cause", "protect and promote further the state's special status" and adopt a soft approach towards the terrorists.
Both Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti have played with fire during all these 10 days or so by holding out assurances which, if given an effect to, would further vitiate the atmosphere in the Valley and help terrorists bloody and convulse the Kashmir's political scene with utmost ease. They have told the Anantnag electorate that they, if voted to power, will lift the ban on Jamaat-e-Islami, JKLF and on the movement of civilian traffic on national highway between Udhampur in Jammu and Baramulla in Kashmir. Not just this, both the parties have held out an assurance that they would revoke the Public Safety Act, weaken the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and reduce the footprint of the armed forces in the Valley. Besides, they have assured the people of Kashmir to withdraw all the cases registered against stone-pelters. Omar Abdullah has even gone to the extent of saying that he, if voted to power in the assembly elections, will not allow his police to detain or book any Kashmiri youth.
There are 18 candidates in the fray, including Mehbooba Mufti, the NC's former J&K HC Judge Masoodi, the Congress' GA Mir and the BJP's Sofi Yousuf. Reports from Kashmir suggest that the "contest is very tough" and "Anantnag could spring a big surprise".
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