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First Peace Then Elections

First Peace Then Elections

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The Governor Satya Pal Malik has put all the speculations to the rest that there is any possibility to form the popular government in Jammu and Kashmir from the present House. Malik said that he is in favour of fresh elections in state and to dissolve the assembly which is in suspended animation.

The governor who was recently appointed has been vocal in speaking about the situation in Kashmir. And to a very extent he is being taken seriously since he is considered one of the trust worthy persons appointed by New Delhi in Jammu and Kashmir. After being appointed in August this year as Governor, Malik has been probably the only Governor in state who is easily available to the media and speaks candidly on all issues from administration to politics.  Malik had earlier also confessed that Delhi made itself pariah in Kashmir after committing some grave mistakes.

In June this year after BJP pulled out of alliance with PDP, the state has come under the governor’s rule and the assembly was put under suspended animation by New Delhi.  In last few months many failed attempts were made by some politicians who turned rebel with the PDP to form the government. And now when the six months are over and there is no headway in the government formation in state Malik is advocating for the fresh elections. His statement has come up only a day after the results for the Urban Local body polls were declared in which Kashmir witnessed the feeble turnout though in Jammu and Ladakh the turnout was encouraging.

In the present situation though there was no spate of violence related to urban local body polls, conducting of Assembly elections will be a challenging task.  Even there have been no elections for the parliamentary seat of Anantnag which was left vacant after the demise of former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in 2015. The people even did not participate in the ULB elections in state.

At most of the places no candidate contested the elections while the turnout was zero. Under such circumstances holding Assembly elections in state would be carrying no significance. Any popular government shall have the true mandate of people in state to represent. Otherwise it will have more consequences at local and international forum instead of doing anything good. In past the elections in Jammu and Kashmir witnessed the substantial public participation and the democratic institutions were flourishing.

However, the situation presently has gone from bad to worse when the holding of elections is becoming a difficult task since the fear of gun is perpetual across the state. Militants have been hurling open threats on people for boycotting the elections which they do.

Amid the growing militancy which expands its clout across the nooks and corner of state and enjoy the public sympathy any attempt to hold elections will prove detrimental to peace. For any such exercise it is mandatory for New Delhi to take all people on board especially the mainstream parties and initiate the dialogue for the sustaining peace so that maximum people can participate in the democratic exercise.

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