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Why DDC election in Kashmir is the report card BJP is waiting for

5 11 6

Jammu and Kashmir District Development Council election marks the resumption of a democratic electoral process in the union territory after the abrogation of Article 370 on 5 August 2019. But an ‘election’ isn’t necessarily democratic by default. At least that’s what the process so far suggests with several workers of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, or PAGD, like Waheed Ur Rehman Para, getting arrested or detained while canvassing for the DDC polls. Other candidates are given a fixed time slot in which to campaign. Multiple candidates are forced to travel in one car after first paying a visit at their local police stations, leaving them hardly any time to campaign.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however, is not only having it easy, but is also going tooth and nail into its campaign knowing very well that the DDC election is a verdict on the Narendra Modi government following its Article 370 decision. The BJP wants to win this election at all costs.

Winning the DDC election presents both a domestic and international opportunity for Modi and the BJP. It vindicates the party which insisted that all was well in Kashmir after 5 August 2019, while international media outlets such as the BBC came out with reports of protests and deep anguish across the Valley. It signals the international community, especially the new Joe Biden administration in the US, to move on like Kashmiri voters have. A lot is at stake in this election nationally as well because the management of the post-Article 370 situation has Amit Shah’s stamp all over it.

Also read: In Kashmir DDC polls, Modi govt, security forces fuelling insecurity, doing great........

© ThePrint

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