Four days left for voting, but poll din missing across Kashmir Valley

The municipal elections are starting from October 8, but the familiar din attached to campaigning is missing in the Valley. The Congress and BJP have embarked on a hushed campaign to woo voters in the Valley due to security concerns. The two main parties contesting the elections after a boycott by the National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party have given the rallies a miss and their campaigns are revolved around person-to-person contacts and meetings at secure areas.

At the lawns of the guarded Circuit House close to the Gupkar Road where most of the residences of former ministers are located, BJP state secretary (organisation) Ashok Koul addressed the candidates of Srinagar district on Tuesday.

Koul laid stress on a door-to-door campaign. “Organise a door-to-door campaign to garner support. Every worker must know his area intimately and have a personal rapport with every voter,” said Koul.
BJP media in charge Manzoor Bhat said the names of the candidates were not being made public due to security concerns but they were thinking of holding rallies in a few pockets. “Right now we are focusing on the door-to-door campaigning. We are planning to hold public rallies at relatively safer areas,” Bhat told Kashmir Post.

The BJP is presently in a celebratory mood as around 60 of its candidates are set to win uncontested in Kashmir. The party is yet to formally win an election in the Valley. The party had fielded 34 candidates in the 2014 Assembly elections but all of them had lost.

The NC and PDP boycott followed by the Congress’ delay in announcing its decision to contest the civic elections came as a boon for the BJP.

The Congress too has not held a rally in the open and is preferring a quiet campaign. “Campaigning is going on but not openly as there are security concerns. Our candidates are campaigning at their own level… they are meeting people at their respective ‘mohallas’ to garner support. We are also holding regular meetings at district levels to review preparations for the coming elections,” said a Congress leader.

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