This is the first time when elections are going to take place in Jammu and Kashmir after abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile state took shape. Political parties are making their best efforts to impress the voters.
The will be the first time when district development council (DDC) elections will be held. These elections will be held in eight phases from November 28 to December 22 to choose 280 members in 20 districts. As there is no elected government in the union territory, these elected members of the DDC will form a new unit of governance in the region.
Other than the DDC polls, polls are also scheduled to be held for by-elections to 12000 panchayat seats and 230 urban local bodies (ULB). Major political parties in the region like Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and National Conference (NC) which boycotted the panchayat polls in 2018, are now contesting the elections under the People”s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD).
National parties like the BJP and the Congress are also campaigning in various constituencies of the Union Territory. BJP is making use of union ministers and central leaders as its star campaigners, however, only local Congress leaders are campaigning and no national leader has been deployed by the party. An election officer said that all the notifications for the elections to the DDCs, panchayats and ULBs have been issued. Authorities have prepared for holding free and fair polls. Police said that sufficient security measures have been taken in order to conduct free and fair elections.
In various constituencies in districts of Jammu division, campaigning has gained quite a momentum with roadshows, door-to-door meetings and public rallies being held by the contestants. However, it is a low affair in Kashmir because of security concerns.
BJP Union ministers like Jitendra Singh, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Anurag Thakur are campaigning for the candidates. BJP national general secretary Tarun Chug and national spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain are also being a part of rallies.
It is also expected that national leaders like Smriti Irani, Ramesh Pokhriyal ”Nishank”, Krishan Pal Gujjar and Rajya Sabha member Zafar Islam will also join the campaign.
A BJP leader said that the party is relying on digital rallies and door-to-door campaigns. Moreover, the party has employed 800 IT people in many districts to campaign on social media.