Election turnout

Does high voter turnout for assembly elections of 2014 mean that people of Jammu and Kashmir have accepted the “integral part” concept? Does this high turnout really mean winds of change? The Indian media jumped into the conclusion that Kashmir has finally thrown its lot with India without introspecting the issue deeply.

The 66 per cent polling does not mean that people are with India. It means that those registered voters who voted are probably without bijli,sadak, paniand more importantly without employment. The aspects and causes of high turnout do not necessarily mean what Indian media say. Even the pro-India parties of Jammu and Kashmir say the cause of high turnout of 2014 assembly elections was to keep BJP at bay. In Kashmir the development has been kept hostage for elections. The voters are made to vote for development. Other causes of high turnout are fielding of large number of local candidates for this election. For voters election is a non issue and have no bearing on the Kashmir conflict. They vote because they want their day-to-day grievance to be redressed. They do not take elections as a substitute for plebiscite.

We have seen in Kashmir that after every large turn out there is uprising against the Indian state, which surprise the political pundits of India. People will still raise the azadi slogan because roads and development are no substitute to freedom and sacrifices.

Abdul Bari



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