Development issues ignored in J&K

Development issues ignored in J&K

'Major parties not addressing problems of unemployment, price rise'

While the five phase parliamentary election in Jammu and Kashmir was completed on Wednesday, developmental issues took a back seat during the campaigning by political parties.

Although the BJP remains a non-entity on the ground in the Kashmir valley, the saffron party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi remained at the centre of the debate in the speeches of ruling National Conference (NC) and opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders.

 Political analysts say the common man didn’t feature much amid the poll din and the parties were more interested in slinging mud at the opponents.

Noted political analyst Prof Noor Ahmad Baba, who teaches Political Science at Kashmir University, said regional parties, the NC and the PDP had no concrete issues to motivate voters.

“Both the parties slammed each other and were not speaking on the real issues like unemployment, development and price rise. The intensity of the rhetoric with which NC and PDP could link each other with BJP and unidentified ‘masters in New Delhi’ was the hallmark of their campaigning,” Prof Baba told Deccan Herald.

While Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and NC patron Farooq Abdullah declared that “Modi as prime minister was dangerous for an integral India”, they also branded PDP as the brainchild of BJP.

The PDP patron, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed hit back saying NC had “completely run out of people’s confidence and it was time to formalize its exit from the state’s political arena once and for all.”
He also reminded the NC of being part of the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee when Gujarat massacre took place.

On April 17, Farooq Abdullah while addressing a youth rally in Srinagar had reportedly said that if he had bombs and guns he would have attacked PDP leaders and workers.

Commenting on the issue, Prof Baba said, “While NC is desperate to retain the power, PDP’s aim is to grab it somehow. Leaders of both the parties aren’t trained in proper political culture as it has not evolved due to conflict. We have abnormal political culture in Kashmir.”

Ghulam Hassan Zargar, a senior citizen, said the issues concerning the common man were nowhere on the parties agenda.

“They (NC and PDP) were busy in mudslinging at their election rallies instead of talking about developmental issues,” he said.

Another resident, Zubair Ahmad said both the NC and the PDP were busy taking credit for development during their respective tenures, which according to him, had never taken place in the state.