General Elections and Political Developments in J & K | Security Risks Asia Made with Humane Club

General Elections and Political Developments in J & K

Published Jun 15, 2019
Updated Apr 13, 2020

National Conference (NC) swept the parliamentary elections in Kashmir Valley bagging the three Lok Sabha seats. The victory  is likley to bolster chances of the Party in the State Assembly polls, planned by end of the yaer.

The NC won Srinagar, Baramulla and Anantnag segments, which were represented by the Peoples Democratic Party in the last Lok Sabha.

In Srinagar, four-time Chief Minister and veteran politician Farooq Abdullah won by over 70000 votes against Agha Mohsin of Peoples Democratic Party. In the Anantnag parliamentary segment former High Court judge Hasnain Masoodi defeated state Congress chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. In the Jammu region the BJP won the three seats and in Ladakh the single seat indicating polarisation of the State with Kashmir going to parties in the Valley and Jammu to the national party.

Despite the clear winner in Kashmir, the polling percentage has remained low which needs to be a serious concern. Data culled from First Post Website denotes maximum polling in the Valley was 34 percent.

Srinagar the hub of the Valley saw 14.1 percent voting. 90 polling booths in Srinagar had zero turnout. Baramulla Lok Sabha seat 17 booths and 65 booths in Anantnag Lok Sbaha seat had zero turnout.

South Kashmir saw only 13.61 percent turnout in Anantnag Lok Sabha seat. The single digit polling percentages in Sopore Assembly segment (3 percent) and Bijbehara (2 percent)  raised an alarm.

In Srinagar, the Eidgah segment saw the lowest voting of all with a record low of 3.4 percent with only 2,105 votes being polled as per First Post.

As per the Indian Express the ‘Instrument of Accession (IoA), came into play when the Indian Independence Act, 1947 divided British India into India and Pakistan. For some 600 princely states whose sovereignty was restored on Independence, the Act provided for three options: to remain an independent country, join Dominion of India, or join Dominion of Pakistan — and this joining with either of the two countries was to be through an IoA.

Though no prescribed form was provided, a state so joining could specify the terms on which it agreed to join. The maxim for contracts between states is pacta sunt servanda, i.e. promises between states must be honoured; if there is a breach of contract, the general rule is that parties are to be restored to the original position. The Schedule appended to the Instrument of Accession gave Parliament the power to legislate in respect of J&K only on Defence, External Affairs and Communications”.

Thus Article 370 was introduced which is now being planned to be scrapped along with Article 35 A but the implications are that the contract executed at the time of the Partition may be nullified.

As per Greater Kashmir, three special rapporteurs of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sought details of steps to provide justice to victims and their next of kin in 76 cases of “torture and arbitrary killing” in J&K since 1990.   India has refused to provide  clarifications leading publication of the call on the UNHRC website after 60 days.

Meanwhile protests have dipped in the Valley and law and order situation improved by 60 percent, an official report has revealed as per Greater Kashmir.   A joint effort by families of youth, counselling at district level and the joint strategy of police and other security agencies have  reduced the flow of youth towards militancy.