Campaigning for bypolls remains a challenge in Kashmir

Campaigning for bypolls remains a challenge in Kashmir

Although the dates for the bypolls in two Parliamentary constituencies in Kashmir are nearing, the election atmosphere is missing, particularly in the south of the Valley, which continues to be in the grip of violence.

Though the situation has improved gradually after the five-month unrest in 2016, the atmosphere remains charged in the south Kashmir as gun battles between militants and security forces and stone-pelting protests near encounter sites have become a routine in the last few months.

The Lok Sabha bypolls for south Kashmir’s Anantnag seat and central Kashmir’s Srinagar seat were announced on March 9 followed by the announcement of candidates by the ruling and Opposition parties last week.

No political party has held any major rally so far; there have only been a few smaller functions held within the offices of political parties under a thick security blanket.

The two Parliament segments, which consist of 31 Assembly seats, have 26,74000 voters. The political parties acknowledge that carrying out election campaigning, particularly in the south Kashmir constituency would be a challenge. State Congress chief, G A Mir, who is the party candidate for the Anantnag seat acknowledges that the voters have been affected by the political situation of the last nine months.
DH News Service

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