Poll boycott rendered infructuous

When push comes to shove, a point of no return from meeting the challenge is a natural corollary. The first phase of Municipal polls took place on 8th instant throughout the state without any fuss or any reports of violence with an impressive turnout of 56.7% in 11 districts of the state that went to polls. Border District of Rajouri in Jammu region recorded the highest voting percentage of 81% and Bandipora District in Kashmir Division with the lowest of 3.4%. About two districts of Ladakh region, including Leh and Kargil, the voting percentage was 55.2% and 78.2% respectively.
It cannot be denied that the percentage of voting in five out of the six districts of the valley that went to polls on Oct 8 was low. However Kupwara District of the valley recorded 33% while four other Districts had comparatively very low voting percentage. Anantnag saw 7.3%, Budgam had 17%, Bandipora and Baramulla witnessed 3.4 and 5.1 percentage respectively. We cannot, however, discount the repeated threats of physical damage to those who participated in these polls given by terror outfits and very unfortunately, the two main political parties of the State, the National Conference and the Peoples’ Democratic Party falling in line resulted in very low turnover in these polls.
It is an admitted fact that both these political parties must be rueing about their non participation in these elections and thus not helping the administration in calling the bluff of the separatist and secessionist elements since most of the time, playing to the galleries they often propound using democratic means more than other methods in meeting the senseless violence perpetrated by these elements and Municipal Polls and Panchayat polls were, at the outset, the opportune well established democratic processes. They have surely missed the bus and instead of contributing towards de-escalating the position in the valley, they have confused themselves and in turn made situation for them on political pedestal hazier. The poll boycott threat of terror outfits in the valley had no impact, not even in the least anywhere in Jammu and Ladakh regions and not much in Kupwara and Budgam Districts too.
As regards Jammu polling, voting percentage in Jammu Municipal Corporation and seven municipal committees falling in the district stood at 64%. In JMC, out of a total of 400283 votes, only 247866 votes were polled while highest turnout of 89% was reported from Jourian Municipal Committee followed by Gho Manhasan, Bishnah, Arnia, R.S.Pura etc respectively. Thana Mandi in Rajouri recoded highest 90.23% voting followed by Sunderbani and Kalakote. It is pertinent to note, even at the cost of repetition that the boycott call given by the terror outfits and “supported” by the NC and the PDP had no impact in Jammu Division where people came out in large numbers to cast their votes with full faith in democracy and with all the enthusiasm and fervour during the first phase of the polls. Like this, the two Kashmir centric political parties so far having been enjoying a considerable base in Jammu region stand exposed as hobnobbing with anti India forces.
We are not surprised with the tantrums of the secessionist and anti India elements in collaboration with Pakistani sponsored terror outfits in coming out with boycott calls and the like but surely feel aghast with the decision of the two main political parties who have tried to bite more than they could chew. People ask as to why they not boycott the high profile security provided to them. Why should they not boycott the free Government houses and perks, why not boycott other facilities and positions. This all is tantamount to pure black mail which was going to boomerang against them. In politics, newer and novel experiments and investments are not unknown and hegemonies and monopolies are bound to be replaced by non dominance and oligopolies.