No Poll Rally in the Valley: J&K Local Polls Swathed in Secrecy

The elections are on the doorstep and the J&K valley is left in desolation with no rallies, no campaigning for the elections scheduled to be on October 8. Everything related to elections is concealed even the names of the candidates are not revealed for the “security reasons”.

According to officials, disclosure of candidate’s identity may land them into trouble or even endanger their lives with turbulence on the rise in the valley.

So far, 851 candidates have filed nomination papers for seats in 598 wards and 40 municipal bodies in the Valley. Across J&K, 1145 seats are up for grabs in 79 municipal bodies and a total of 3005 candidates are in the fray.

While the two biggies of J&K politics will sta out of the elections, BJP, Congress and Sajad Lone’s Peoples Conference are scuffling for the seats. In the Valley, there will probably be no contest for 60 per cent of the seats.

Of the 598 wards in the Valley, not a single nomination paper has been filed in 172 wards and there is only one candidate in 190 wards, ensuring there is no voting. Of the 40 municipal bodies in the Valley, there will be no voting in at least 21 municipal bodies. There will, however, be a tight contest for 74 wards of the Srinagar municipal corporation. Officials said 310 candidates have filed nomination papers for the Srinagar wards.

After the last date of nominations, it is mandatory for returning officers to paste details of contesting candidates on notice boards outside their offices.

But let alone pasting lists for public viewing, returning officers say they have clear instructions not to reveal details about candidates who have filed nomination papers.