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Opinion

Pennants, banners and large rallies lost as tactics for JK DDC polls change

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Unlike in the past, there are no pennants, banners or large rallies of political parties in the campaign for the upcoming District Development Council elections in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

The DDC polls are the largest electoral contest to take place after the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and its bifurcation into two UTs: J&K and Ladakh. However, this time the electoral fever is lacking on the ground and no big rallies have been organized to attract voters.

The 280 members of the DDC will be chosen in eight-phase elections, which will begin on November 28 and end on December 19. The scrutiny will take place on December 22. DDC elections will be held by parties and the 280 elected members elect chairmen of the district development boards.

Most of the candidates belonging to different parties or independently go to run door-to-door campaigns or use social media platforms, especially news portals to search for votes, especially in rural areas.

Many candidates, especially young people, have made short video messages seeking votes and highlighting their priorities.

Defender Irfan Hafeez Lone, who is competing from Sangrama, said he believes in the door-to-door campaign. “I’m not a tech savvy (man), but yes, my friends who control social media are using the platform to drive my campaign. My opponents have money and muscle strength, but I am confident of winning these elections. And social media could have an impact. “

So far only the BJP and the Apni Party have held some rallies or conventions in different parts of the UT, seeking votes for their candidates. The BJP even brought in the top national leaders for the campaign in different parts of Kashmir.

Apni Party Chairman Altaf Bukhari, who chaired the party convention under tight security at the Sherwani hall in Baramulla on Tuesday, said these elections are for the development of areas in any segment of the assembly. “The people who will be chosen will form development plans for their areas and it is the third level of the Panchayati Raj system.”

J&K pradesh congressional chairman Ghulam Ahmad Mir said the party has decided that local workers will play an important role in seeking votes for party candidates in DDC polls. “We are planning some rallies in different parts of J&K,” he said.

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On Tuesday, former J&K Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah. who is also the chairman of the six-party alliance, PAGD or the popular alliance for Gupkar’s declaration, released a short video message seeking votes for the alliance’s candidates. The message was shared by all prominent PAGD leaders on social media to extend the reach of the message.

People’s Conference spokesman Adnan Ashraf, whose party is part of the alliance, said his candidates rely on both the door-to-door campaign and social media. “We have many educated young candidates; In addition to social media, they also travel to villages to seek votes. Since it is a grassroots election, the local impact will have an influence ”. Adnan said the campaign has mostly been left to local leaders. “Top leaders will opt for limited campaigns.”

Ishfaq Ahmad, a political analyst, said that people in Kashmir have not yet come out of the shock of August 5, when the special status was revoked and the state was demoted to UT.

“Although all parties are in conflict, enthusiasm is lacking even among the top leaders of the large regional political parties. Now, the percentage of votes is crucial, which will determine the future of politics at J&K. ‘

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