Free and fair DDC polls

As by now, it is fairly known that the first District Development Council (DDC) elections in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir are going to be held in eight phases starting from November 28 and concluding on December 22, much political and administrative activities have already started gearing up performing their respective roles. Not only are the elections to the DDCs being held, there are around 13250 vacant seats of Sarpanchs and Panchs as also nearly 230 seats of the Urban Local Bodies, elections for which too are going to be held simultaneously. That, in simpler words denotes that a grand festival of observing and celebrating grass root democratic process, yet under another unprecedented opportunity, was going to take place across Jammu and Kashmir. It is also a fact that a lot of administrative apparatus, that of providing safety and security measures for the entire election process and of logistical and infrastructural support to the Election Commissioner were to be there in order to ensure smooth and hassles free polling.
Candidates, therefore, need a proper environment which makes their free movement for campaigning possible and in this connection, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has rightly and timely given slew of directions to the District Authorities and the Police after reviewing the election preparedness of his administration. Since in the upper regions of the UT, snowfall and wide spread rains are expected, extra preparedness was necessary to be ensured to see that polls were conducted as per schedule in a normal way. Since we have been hearing about the developments as regards delimitation process, it is learnt that the process has been completed for 280 DDC constituencies which have been identified across the UT while up-dating of electoral rolls has already been completed on January 1, 2020. Each DDC in the UT has 14 constituencies . This all is enumerated to bring home the importance of these elections hence requiring foolproof administrative arrangements.
Since the very concept and practice of maintaining neutrality by the administrative personnel of whichever hue, is paramount for smooth conducting of elections, The Lieutenant Governor has underlined its importance in no uncertain terms and has directed the officers to take all requisite measures in this regard. That people living in far flung areas of the Union Territory must equally exercise their right to vote irrespective of any hindrance or reasons of creed, caste, religion, gender or any such thing, the administration must not find itself leaving any stone unturned especially keeping in mind the narrative of ”rigged or managed elections” that used to be the grapevines or whatever, during and up to the end of 1980s in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. Let campaigning be full and vigorous to motivate voters as that is the beauty of the democratic system for which the Lieutenant Governor has impressed upon the District and Police Administration to extend all possible facilities including the security of the candidates.
We may send a note of caution in that if there is anyone more frustrated and undone on account of starting and giving further push to political and democratic activities in Jammu and Kashmir, it is the belligerent neighbour Pakistan . That country is always up to some mischief or the other, to disturb or discredit the poll process. Recent myopic efforts to dig tunnel across the border opening at the other side burrowed up to our side, is just one of the indicators. Through that tunnel, the four terrorists supposed to have recently crawled in along with heavy arms and ammunition with full support from the other side even during travelling by the truck heading towards the valley, to disrupt the poll process, must not be taken as an isolated lurking threat. Had those terrorists not been eliminated in the truck itself at Nagrota Toll Plaza, much of the disturbances could have been caused by them. Hence, that type of persistent threat perception, the UT administration, particularly at district levels, has to keep in mind and thwart the same in entirety.