SRINAGAR: In the twenty-first-century unity of Kashmir politics, Kulgam would always be a milestone. Despite the leaders of all the Kashmir parties being together in Srinagar, they fought each other and fought it well. The outcome has not been uninteresting – CPI (M) managed to retain its importance and the NC came as the net gainer. The major loser was the PDP that stands reduced to two belts of Kund and DK Marg.
The outcome is interesting because Kulgam has unique packaging – a rightwing, conservative district that has been sending a communist to the legislative assembly for the last four consecutive terns. In the last assembly, four parties had a seat each – Noorabad with PDP, Kulgam with CPI (M), Devsar with Congress and Humshalibugh with NC.
In the DDC polls in which three main stakeholders for this segment CPI (M), NC, PDP were supposed to fight Congress, Apni Party and BJP, the situation was altogether different. PDP, for instance, faced the crisis when its Nooraban man deserted the party and joined the newly floated Apni Party. In the just-concluded DDC polls, he had fielded his wife Hajira from 4-DH Pora but could not manage even half of what NC did. That is perhaps why the PDP could barely manage the remote Kuand territorial segment ns the DK Marg. In one segment when PDP had fielded former minister, Abdul Aziz Zargar’s son, he was not in the reckoning at all.
In the ultimate tally, it is NC that has emerged the main powerhouse with five berths – a power as good as the CPI(M) with five, leaving two each to Congress and PDP. Now NC has Manzgam, Pahloo, Qaimah-A, Devsar A and DH Pora. CPI (M) got Beehibagh, Kulgam A and B, Pomaby and Qaimoh-B. Congress has 3-Devsar and Frisal. At two places, it was NC versus PDP and at least in one segment, it was CPI (M) versus NC. Independents were in contest at four berths but nowhere could they win.
An official said that so far 11 results have been declared formally. “They all followed the visible trends of the day,” he said, insisting, “the balance three are expected to follow the same trend because the margins and huge.”
Parties said the PAGD decisionmaking was not reflective of ground realities. “To CPIM, they refused two seats despite the fact that they had better chances of wining,. They rebelled, contested and won, that is it.”
Parties, at the same time, assert that the participation was quite low. “We have more than two lakh voters, only 61,000 actually participated,” one political worker said. “It was not an assembly election, by the way”.
It is an interesting district. The PAGD allies fought each other and are now congratulating each other. One of the leaders said: “Regardless of who won and lost, it is all PAGD win.” Is it?
Farzana Nisar contrinuted to this reort from Kulgam.