(Asian News Hub) – Once seen as a peripheral player, Peoples Conference has emerged as a major political force in Kashmir.
The party has emerged as the main challenge for National Conference on political landscape of Kashmir after “decimation “of Peoples Democratic Party and unimpressive” performance of Apni Party in its maiden electoral battle.
After BJP withdrew support to Mehbooba Mufti, Peoples Democratic Party has lost 18 members who were MLAs in the last Assembly of erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir.
These members have either left the party or were expelled from it.
The Apni Party, which contested election on 170 seats in district development council polls, managed to win just 12 seats.
On the other hand, Peoples Conference emerge as the single largest party in two politically- significant districts of north Kashmir by winning five seats in Kupwara and three seats in Baramulla.
With joining of political bigwigs like former deputy chief minister Muzaffar Hussain Baig, former minister and two-time MLA Syed Basharat Bukhari, former MLA Peerzada Mansoor and ex-MLC Khursheed Alam, the party has managed to widen its geographical reach and strengthen its electoral prospects.
According to political observers, the party’s traditional votebank in north Kashmir and superb performance in the district development council polls has come as a major boost for it.
“Before 1987, only National Conference, Peoples Conference, Jamaat-e-Islamia and Awami Action Committee had votebank in Kashmir. While National Conference had pan-J&K presence, the other parties had influence in some pockets,” they said, adding that PC was the main opposition to NC in north Kashmir.
According to them, PC chairman Sajad Gani Lone has managed to expand the party after contesting 2009 Lok Sabha polls. “Lone himself has significant influence in six Assembly segments of north Kashmir.
The party general secretary Imran Reza Ansari has followers in different pockets of north and central Kashmir. He can influence outcome on the number of segments in these two regions,” they said.
A senior leader of PC said that joining of Muzaffar Hussain Baig and Syed Basharat has strengthened the party in Baramulla district.
“Baig has influence in Baramulla district as well as on Pahari votebank in different parts of Valley. Basharat has won both the Assembly elections, he contested from Sangrama after he joined politics,” he said.
The PC leaders are hopeful that they will be able to gain foothold in both central and south Kashmir after recent joining’s.
“We already had former MLA Zadibal Abid Ansari in Srinagar. Now with joining of former MLC Khursheed Alam, we will be able to expand the party in central Kashmir especially Srinagar district,” he said, adding that Mansoor’s entry in the party will help them to gain foothold in south Kashmir.
He said the party leaders Abdul Gani Vakil and Raja Aijaz Ali have sizeable influence in Rafiabad and Uri segments, respectively.
In 2019 Lok Sabha polls, National Conference got 2.79 lakh votes in Kashmir Valley, Peoples Conference 1.32 lakh votes and Peoples Democratic Party 83 thousand votes.
Home Minister’s J&K visit: High Level Security Meet on cards in Sgr
Top security officials to participate in meeting; Shah to review developmental projects too, likely to visit families of martyrs
Srinagar, Sept 24: Union Home Minister Amit Shah is all set to chair a crucial security review meeting in Srinagar during his two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir commencing on October 1, Officials’ sources told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) on Saturday.
Shah, as per sources will reach Jammu on September 30 evening and on October 1, he is scheduled to address a rally in Baramulla district of north Kashmir. Sources told KNO that Shah will travel to Srinagar from Baramulla and chair a high level security meeting in the capital city to review progress on anti-militancy operations, infiltration and law and order. “He will also review developmental projects and meet officials from the civil administration,” they said.
Sources said the security review is likely to take place at Raj Bhawan in Srinagar where J&K LG Manoj Sinha, J&K DGP Dilbagh Singh, ADGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar, top officials of army, BSF, CRPF, intelligence and other security agencies will be present. “A separate review will be about developmental projects in J&K where heads of various departments will be present,” they said.
On August 25, Shah chaired a security review meeting on J&K in New Delhi. The meeting was attended by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, Army Chief Manoj Pandey, Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha and Research and Analysis Wing Chief Samant Goel. Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Director General Kuldiep Singh, Border Security Force (BSF) chief Pankaj Singh and National Investigation Agency (NIA) Director General Dinkar Gupta also attended the meeting.
Earlier, Shah had held meetings in May and June where security preparations related to Amarnath Yatra were discussed. Post abrogation of article 370, the Home Minister has been personally reviewing security of J&K. He has already announced zero tolerance for militancy.
A BJP leader, privy to the Shah’s J&K visit, said that there was a possibility that the Home Minister may visit a few families of martyrs in Kashmir.
Amit Shah to hold mega rallies in Rajouri, Baramulla on Oct 01 & 02: BJP’s Sunil Sharma
Says making announcement about holding elections in J&K prerogative of ECI: ‘Shah’s visit to J&K a routine one’
Srinagar, Sept 24: Former minister and BJP’s Kashmir Affairs in charge, Sunil Sharma on Saturday said that the Union Home Minister, Amit Shah will address mega rallies in Rajouri and Baramulla districts of Jammu and Kashmir on October 01 and 02 respectively.
Addressing a press conference here, Sharma as per the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) said that Shah will arrive Jammu on September 30 and on October 01 he will address a mega rally in Rajouri district.
He said that Amit Shah will also a mega rally in Baramulla town on October 02, in which people from not only from North Kashmir, but from across the Valley will participate.
“He will talk about several issues with the people of Kashmir in the rally and will also highlight various things regarding development in Jammu and Kashmir and what central government is doing on various fronts for the development of J&K,” Sharma said.
Replying to a question, Sharma said that it is the prerogative of the Election Commission of India to make announcement about holding elections in Jammu and Kashmir and that BJP is always ready for elections here.
He also said that connecting Amit Shah’s visit with holding of elections in Jammu and Kashmir soon would be wrong, as this is his routine visit to the region. “He has yesterday visited Bihar as well and he will be visiting J&K also, which is a routine visit to take stock of several developmental projects and security issues,” he said.
Sharma added that Amit Shah will also lay foundation stone for Cancer hospital, being constructed by the Jammu and Kashmir Waqf Board, in the Valley.
Open to form next dispensation with NC only: Taj Mohi-ud-din
‘Azad has made factual statement on Art 370, things about party launch to be cleared after Sep 25, leaders from other parties getting attracted towards new group, elections likely in Dec, Jan, will emerge s single largest party, AP, PC belong to BJP’
Srinagar, Sept 23: Seconding former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad over his statement about Article 370, senior political leader Taj Mohi-ud-din on Friday said the group would form the next dispensation in the Union Territory without any alliance, however, if need arises, the doors will be open for National Conference (NC) only.
Talking exclusively to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), Taj Mohi-ud-din, said that the party couldn’t be launched due to some issues raised by the Election Commission. “The things with regard to the party launch will be cleared after September 25 when Azad Sahab will visit Jammu and on September 27 in Kashmir,” he said.
He further said that the restoration of Statehood, protection of land, jobs and ensuring peace and prosperity will be the topmost priority of the Azad led group.
The former Minister also said that not only the Congress leaders, but everybody are getting attracted towards Azad. “Let the party be launched, you will see how people will join the party. You will see the change after two months,” he said.
Seconding Azad for his statement on Article 370, he said, “Whatever Azad Sahab has said is based on facts. It is not possible to have a 2/3rd majority in the parliament to restore Article 370 and also the Supreme Court (SC) has not heard the case in the past three years now. We have full faith in the court and are expecting a favourable decision, but one must ask will there be 360 parliamentarians in the future to restore Article 370. If some people want one lakh people to die, then they should continue with making emotional statements over it.”
Asked about the preparations for the assembly polls, he said that the leaders joining Azad have already started the preparations and it is hoped that the new party will emerge as the single largest party. “We hope the majority of seats will be won by us in Jammu as well as in Kashmir. I personally believe that BJP will catch the people unaware and hold the elections in between December and January. On 25th November electoral roll will be issued following which the notification for polls will be issued soon. This is what I expect.”
“We will not need any party for alliance to form the government, but if need arises, the party will be open for the coalition with National Conference (NC) only as it is a secular party. I don’t expect any bonhomie with PDP while there is no question of siding with BJP,” he said, and termed Apni Party and Peoples Conference (PC) as the team of BJP, saying that the coalition with these two parties is also not possible.
“In the initial stage, Altaf Bukhari used to make statements against Azad Sahab, but when the things were cleared to him that Azad doesn’t belong to BJP, he has stopped levelling allegations. Everybody knows Altaf Bukhari is with BJP, if not, then why he has been given Z security and about PC Chairman, the former Governor Satya Pal Malik has also made it clear that he came with six members to form the government, which indicates his position,” Taj said.
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