For the best experience, open
on your mobile browser.

Assembly polls 2024: Pre-devised strategies versus ground realities

The setbacks in parliamentary polls seems to have caused loss of appetite for assembly polls among the political parties
07:46 AM Jun 27, 2024 IST | ZAHOOR MALIK
assembly polls 2024  pre devised strategies versus ground realities
File/ GK

As the process for much awaited assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir has almost begun, will the political parties go by their respective pre-devised strategies or try to make some changes in accordance with the ground realities? Making of changes has become imperative for the parties to keep themselves relevant in the electoral politics arena.


The parliamentary poll results punctured claims of almost all political parties in one way or the other. National Conference’s claim of having total supremacy in Kashmir proved incorrect due to the massive defeat of Omar Abdullah.


Not winning even a single seat and losing of polls by  Mehbooba Mufti indicate that PDP has  still a long way to go to fully recover its lost ground. The dismal performance of Apni Party, Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) and People’s Conference shows that they are still nowhere  in their “mission “ to politically uproot the traditional parties and become alternative parties. As far as BJP is concerned the increasing vote share of Congress in Jammu is a cause of concern and so  equally is the poor performance of its like minded parties in Kashmir.


The setbacks in parliamentary polls seems to have caused loss of appetite for assembly polls among the political parties. This despite they vigorously were demanding assembly elections for last several years. May be because of this  lack of appetite,  the parties are not showing any inclination for making preparations for the assembly polls.


The scene is quite opposite to what it was prior to parliamentary elections. At that time the parties had begun the preparations much before the polls. They extensively held public rallies, meetings in every nook and corner. But now there is a feeling among the major parties that they have to move beyond addressing the public rallies and meetings. Only the great oratory skills are not sufficient to get votes. There is much more to be done and the strategies accordingly re-devised.


The ground electoral situation has changed a lot. This despite the fact that BJP is yet to gain a solid foothold in Kashmir and its like minded parties not able yet to match the traditional parties. NC camp feels that on the ground, all its  moves are not completely succeeding. Some problems are there. Those in the NC believe that the pro-Engineer Rashid wave did not come on its own. According to them, it had the blessing of some influential quarters.


The leaders of the NC and PDP say that arrest of its workers and supporters on election days was an attempt to stop them and others from voting. But the authorities said they only detained the over ground workers as a pre- cautionary measure. The parties would have raised a hue and cry if their candidates were defeated with low margins.


But these allegations lost relevance as their top candidates were defeated with huge margins. Later, the defeated leaders also preferred to observe silence on the issue. However, in assembly polls such cries by the parties may be again heard. Is the present delay in poll preparations by NC and PDP also a deliberate move by them to express their displeasure on such issues?

But the two parties cannot afford delaying the assembly polls related preparations for long. Going by the expected tough contests, they will have to work harder, and effectively also. They would not like to leave open the field for the rival parties. Particularly when BJP has made up its mind to install a government headed by it for the first time in Jammu and Kashmir.

Going by the Lok Sabha poll results, the parties may have to reconsider the appointment of their respective assembly constituencies incharges. These incharges were appointed two years back so that they could prepare ground before they are formally given mandates.

In a way it was an informal announcement of mandates with an option of slight changes here or there as per the requirement at the election time. Now after the parliamentary polls results are these appointments relevant or is there any scope for major changes?  This will be known after some time.

The 2024 Lok Sabha polls in J&K were record breaking as far as poll percentage is concerned. The wider participation of people and parties was widely hailed at national level. Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself congratulated the people of J&K for this during his recent visit here.

He said that opposition did not compliment the people for the massive polling. The Prime Minister added that while the process for assembly polls has begun the statehood too will be restored soon.

Whenever the assembly poll related preparations gain momentum in coming months, it will  be again the festival of democracy in Jammu and Kashmir. 

Author is senior editor, Greater Kashmir