There are several accusations against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for misuse of official machinery to influence the electoral outcomes in its favour in upcoming District Development Council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir. Many candidates have accused that on security grounds, they were subjected to security confinement as soon as they filed nomination papers and their capacity to connect with their constituencies was limited. Many candidates have even signed undertakings refusing to give security details in order to campaign freely – even at the risk of their lives.
On November 21, Farooq Abdullah, Chairman of PAGD and National Conference (NC) patron, wrote a letter to State Election Commissioner (SEC) K.K. Sharma, complaining that candidates of the Alliance were not being provided a level playing field in the polls. He wrote that he is taking the liberty of writing to the State Election Commissioner about the forthcoming DDC elections. He alleged that the candidates of the PAGD are immediately sent away to ‘secure locations’ under the garb of security and confined to those ‘secure locations’. They are not permitted to canvass. They are kept completely out of touch with their voters.
Former Chief Ministers of the erstwhile state, Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah also took on the administration. Mehbooba Mufti asked in her tweet if this is the democracy that the government is promoting.
NC leader, Omar Abdullah alleged that the J&K administration is helping the BJP.
On Monday, K K Sharma admitted that he has received a letter from Abdullah. He said that a sufficient number of additional forces have come from outside the region and a comfortable security environment will continue in place to make sure that free, fair and smooth elections. He said that those candidates who are lodged in cluster accommodation are not being stopped from campaigning. Moreover, those who are claiming that they are not being allowed to go for campaigning should write to him and concerned SSPs and Deputy Commissioners of their districts. He said that every candidate will get security cover to their campaigning.