Rising Voter Turnout Indicative of Declining Dynastic Politics in Kashmir: Jitendra Singh


SRINAGAR: Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Monday said the rise in voter turnout in Jammu and Kashmir is indicative of declining dynastic politics in the Kashmir Valley.

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Polling for five Lok Sabha seats of Jammu and Kashmir were held in five phases.

Voting was held in Udhampur constituency on April 19, Jammu on April 26, Anantnag-Rajouri on May 7 and in Srinagar on May 13. The Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency, which went to polls on Monday, recorded an all-time high voter turnout of 59 per cent.

In all phases, a significant voter turnout has been noticed, the minister said, adding that an encouraging turnout of voters was witnessed during voting in Baramulla.

Singh said it is a remarkable departure from the times when the people of the Kashmir Valley were constrained to elect their representatives for Lok Sabha and Assembly with a voter turnout of hardly 10 per cent or even less than that.

The Union minister of state for personnel accused Kashmir’s “dynastic political parties” of not allowing true democracy to usher in the Valley.

“For over three decades, elections were held in the shadow of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. It suited the dynastic regional parties of the Kashmir Valley to get these elections conducted with a limited voter turnout under the fear of guns and manage a majority for themselves,” he told PTI here.

Singh claimed these political parties then allowed terrorism to continue indefinitely “so that their family rule could thrive from generation to generation”.

“But now time has changed. Rising voter turnout is indicative of declining dynasty politics in the Kashmir valley,” he added.

Singh credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi for having introduced District Development Councils in Jammu and Kashmir which gave the people an experience of what grassroot democracy actually meant.

This is quite a paradox because for all these decades the dynasty-driven political parties of the Kashmir valley have been befooling people in the name of “self-rule” or “autonomy”, but were not ready to allow DDC elections or introduce the 73rd and 74th Amendments of the Constitution which gave self-empowerment to panchayats and other local bodies, he said.

“People of Kashmir have now witnessed changes brought into their lives after the abrogation of Article 370. They have full confidence in the policies and schemes run by the Central government. The people of Kashmir foresee a good future for themselves, their families and for the Union Territory under the visionary leadership of the prime minister,” Singh added.


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