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Electoral Politics in the Context of Separatism and Political Divergence: An Analysis of 2009 Parliamentary elections in Jammu & Kashmir

Rekha Chowdhary

Abstract

The paper analyses the 2009 Parliamentary elections in Jammu and Kashmir in the context of the conflict situation of the last two decades. The separatist sentiment, the paper argues, remains ascendant, even though mainstream politics (that had become totally irrelevant during the initial years of militancy and political upsurge) has been gradually gaining space. Rather than challenging separatist politics, mainstream politics is seeking to legitimise itself by acknowledging its own limitations and confining itself to the politics of ‘governance’ while leaving for separatist politics the issue of the ‘ultimate resolution of conflict’. However, in this process of legitimisation, mainstream politics has taken up many issues from the agenda of separatist politics. Consequently, despite the distinction between the two kinds of politics, there exists an overlap between them. The paper also focuses on the political divergence and the assertion of regional/religious identity politics. The Amarnath agitation, which took place a few months before the Parliamentary elections, became the basis of massive political mobilisation and reaffirmation of the popular separatist sentiment in Kashmir and religious cum regional identity politics in Jammu. As such, it forms an important reference point for the analysis. The paper also focuses on the 2008 Assembly election, which immediately preceded the Parliamentary elections.

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  • 1 For a detailed understanding of the background and emergence of armed militancy and separatist poli (...)

1As in any other state of India, the 2009 Parliamentary election in the State of Jammu and Kashmir can be seen as an important moment reflecting the nature and direction of politics as it is evolving at the local level. One can gauge the changing nature of power politics; the context of popular participation; the nature of competition and the intensity and depth of democracy in the State. However, the context of the conflict situation which has engulfed this state for the past two decades provides additional meaning to the electoral exercise here. This paper will therefore seek to locate the Parliamentary elections in the context of separatism. Specifically, it will focus on the implications of parallel existence of the separatist and the mainstream politics on power politics of the State. Separatism, it may be mentioned here, emerged as the dominant political response in Kashmir during the post-1989 period. Manifested simultaneously through armed militancy as well as spontaneous popular upsurge, this political response has continued to have a hold over the politics of the Valley throughout the last two decades.1 Despite the restoration of mainstream politics after its complete erosion during the initial stages of separatism, the separatist politics continues to define the political responses of Kashmir. The two kinds of politics seem to be operating side by side, overlapping at a number of points and impacting each other in an interesting manner. It is in this context of overlap between the separatist and mainstream politics that the 2009 Parliamentary election will be analysed.

2The paper will also highlight the context of diversity and political divergence within the state and its implications on electoral politics. Focusing on the political divergence at the regional level, it will analyse the process of political mobilisation around the regional identity politics.

3The immediate context of the elections is framed by two significant political events that preceed these elections—first, the Amarnath agitation which engulfed almost the whole state during the summer of 2008 and Assembly elections that were concluded in December 2008.

The context of electoral politics in Kashmir: Implications of conflict situation and separatist politics

4The state of Jammu and Kashmir has been affected by the conflict situation ever since 1947. The ruler of this erstwhile Princely state, after remaining indecisive for quite some time, signed the instrument of Accession with India under troubled conditions created by the tribal invaders supported by Pakistan army, on 26th October 1947. The issue assumed international character with India taking the case to the UN. With Pakistan holding on a part of J&K and contesting the validity of Accession of the other part with India, this State continued to remain a bone of contention between the two countries.

5However, besides external dimension of the conflict which has afflicted this state ever since 1947, there is also an internal dimension which is defined by Kashmir’s relationship with India. This relation has witnessed a protracted tension, especially since 1953. In 1953, Sheikh Abdullah, the popular Kashmiri leader was removed from power and detained for a long time. Before his detention, Sheikh had been instrumental in negotiating a special constitutional status for the state. However, with his dismissal not only this status was gradually eroded, but Kashmiris were also denied democratic channels of political expression. Excessive central intrusion in the politics of the state distorted even the most developed indigenous political institutions like the National Conference and distanced governance from the popular responses (Bose 2003: 66-7) All this resulted in an accumulated political discontent which was manifested throughout the post-1953 period.

6Though Sheikh was brought back to power in 1975, political discontent continued to manifest itself. One of the major reasons for this discontent was the lack of any initiative in restoring the constitutional autonomy of the state, the major pre-condition of Sheikh for resuming power. However, due to the towering personality of the Sheikh, particularly his capacity to assert autonomy of his government vis-à-vis the intrusive politics of the Centre, the discontent was quite subdued. But the incapacity of his successor and son, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, to keep the Centre away from meddling into the politics of the state, resulted in intensifying the already existing feeling of discontent. The tension continued to grow after the dismissal, engineered by the Congress—the ruling party in the Centre—, of Farooq Abbdullah’s government, which had obtained a massive popular mandate during the 1983 Assembly elections, (Abdullah 1985: 9). In addition, the pressure built upon Farooq Abdullah and the National Conference to enter into an electoral alliance with the Congress party increased the dissatisfaction, since the Congress party was popularly held responsible for distorting local politics since early fifties.

  • 2 Along with MUF, the opposition to the NC-Congress combine was given by the People’s Conference led (...)
  • 3 For instance, the NC candidate in Bijbihera won the election with a margin of 100 votes only. In Wa (...)

7However, the real political outrage in the Valley was triggered by the 1987 Assembly election, generally perceived to be highly rigged, which led to the massive victory of NC-Congress combine and the defeat of most of the Muslim United Front (MUF) candidates. The MUF was formed in 1986 to give vent to the growing popular resentment against the alliance were seen to be manipulated. Despite polling 38.2% votes (compared to 45.2% votes of the NC-Congress combine), the opposition comprised of MUF and People’s Conference2 could register victory barely in four constituencies. The fact that the margin of victory of some of the candidates belonging to the ruling combine was very low, and the number of invalid votes in these constituencies was quite high, generated a feeling of scepticism regarding the validity of the results3 (Chowdhary & Rao 2003: 189-219).

8It was in the wake of disillusionment with the internal politics in general that the present phase of conflict was started in the Valley. What marked the beginning of this phase was the decision of some of the Kashmiri youth who had participated in the elections as contestants, election agents, campaigners and sympathisers of candidates to cross over to Pakistan administered Kashmir to take training in armed militancy. Moreover, apart from armed militancy, a spontaneous popular upsurge grew against the Indian State that eroded the mainstream politics in the Valley of Kashmir. The separatist politics manifested both through the armed militancy as well as spontaneous political response took a more organised form with the establishment of the All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) in 1993. The establishment of APHC as an umbrella organisation was necessitated by the proliferation of militant groups which were at times operating at cross purposes. The ideological differences between these organisations and their internal strife, especially the war declared by Hizbul Mujahideen on the JKLF, generated a need for a loose-knit organisation that could give a sense of unity and common direction to those participating in the movement (Schofield 2000: 143-88).

  • 4 With common people openly identifying with separatist politics, the farcical nature of the electora (...)

9So much was the sway of the separatist politics in the Kashmir Valley, that it completely eroded the mainstream politics right from 1989. While Jammu and Ladakh regions remained more or less normal, there was no scope for the mainstream power politics in the Valley.4 As the legitimacy of the mainstream politics was openly questioned by the militants on the one hand, and the defiant masses on the streets of Kashmir on the other, the state was placed under the President’s rule for a prolonged period of time. In 1996, the electoral process was restored but the government that was formed after the Assembly election could not gain credence in the Valley of Kashmir. Since the elections were organised with the help of the security forces and the counter-insurgents, the government formed after the elections was not seen to be representing the popular will. Though NC had given the slogan of ‘autonomy’ to regain its hold in the local politics, there were not many takers of this slogan (Chowdhary 2000: 2600-1).

10Despite the restoration of political process, separatist sentiment continued to hold sway. Though Kashmiris, by this time, had started reacting against the ‘culture of violence’ and very subtly rejecting and de-legitimising militancy, their sympathies with separatist politics continued to be expressed through various demonstrations organised by the Hurriyat Conference. Mainstream politics, therefore, continued to remain challenged.

11A number of factors changed the popular response towards electoral and mainstream politics. Firstly, the urge for normalcy after the prolonged period of militant violence led to some kind of change of attitude towards the process of governance. By the time the 2002 Assembly election was concluded, the political processes related to governance had already found some legitimate space in Kashmir’s politics. Without any contradiction towards their separatist sentiments, people started involving themselves in the ‘politics related to governance’. This process was further boosted by a change in the nature of political mobilisation. With the emergence of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as another Kashmir-based party, not only the electoral competition became quite intense, but the electoral discourse also became more grounded in the local realities. PDP referred to the Human Rights violations taking place in Kashmir and the need for providing ‘healing touch’ to people, and also raised the issue of conflict and its resolution through the process of dialogue both with both Pakistan and militants. Also significant were the initiatives being taken by the Vajpayee-led Government: declaring that India had made mistakes in Kashmir, Vajpayee made a commitment to hold a ‘free and fair election’. This commitment was an indirect acknowledgement of the intrusive role that the Centre had been playing in the power politics of the State since 1950s.

  • 5 It was exactly 29.64% voter turnout for the Valley of Kashmir. Interestingly in few districts like (...)

12The impact of all these factors was significantly visible through the voters’ response. Although the overall turnout during the 2002 Assembly elections was much lower than the 1996 Assembly elections, the participation was more voluntary rather than coerced by the presence of security forces in any manner, which made the 30% turnout in Kashmir Valley quite significant.5

  • 6 That is the reason why the National Conference, which was ousted from power in 1984 due to the defe (...)

13The 2002 Assembly elections, generally acknowledged to be fair, helped build some kind of confidence in the electoral institutions and processes. Till now, the formation of government and its sustenance in power was more dependent on the support of the Centre rather than the mandate of people. The electoral politics therefore was quite distanced from the popular responses.6 Breaking the hegemony of the single dominant party also brought an alternative to the PDP-Congress coalition power. The possibility that a government could be changed through the participation of people in the electoral process, rather than through the manipulative politics of the Centre, strengthened the stake of the people in this process.

14Moreover, the response of people towards the electoral process was further transformed through the intensity of competition after the creation of the People’s Democratic Party. The emergence of another Kashmir-based political party invigorated the mainstream political space.

  • 7 Sheikh was arrested on the suspicion that he was not happy with the Accession of the State with Ind (...)

15Before the emergence of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), National Conference (NC) had hegemonised the politics of Kashmir region (Chowdhary & Rao 2004: 1521-7). It based its on playing a role in organising the resistance movement against the feudal Dogra rule before 1947 and the radical land reforms that it had initiated after it came into power in 1947. Its emphasis on economic and political reconstruction of the state, in pursuance of the New Kashmir Manifesto, the ideological blueprint of the party—particularly the redistribution of the land to the landless, debt relief to the peasants, free education till the Post Graduate stage—endeared this party to the Kashmiri masses and they formed the base of this party. The support was strengthened by Sheikh Abdullah’s charisma until his removal from power in 1953.7

16With the ouster of the Sheikh Abdullah from power and subsequent formation of Plebiscite Front, the support base of NC shifted to this organisation in the post-1953 period. However, NC continued to officially operate as the ruling party of the state under the leadership of Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed. But the ruling NC legitimacy remained contested throughout and it survived more on the basis of the support from the Congress party than on the basis of local support. So overwhelming was the influence of the Congress that the NC ultimately merged with it in mid-sixties. After 1975 when Sheikh Abdullah came back to power politics, the Plebiscite Front was dissolved and the NC was revived. From 1975 to 1996, the NC was again the most influential party of Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in the Valley.

17Though the NC continued to dominate the political scene of the State, its support base gradually declined. In the background of the Kashmir’s politics between 1953 and 1975 when people were mobilised around the theme of contestation of the existing relationship of the state with India, the return of Sheikh Abdullah to power without much change in the status quo, there was a simmering discontent in the Valley. However, due to the towering personality of Sheikh Abdullah, much of this discontent did not take a concrete shape during his life time. But after his death, the party now led by his son Farooq Abdullah started losing space. Even when Congress as the ruling party in the Centre had manoeuvred the ouster of his government in 1984, he had entered into an alliance with this party in 1986 and contested the 1987 election leading this alliance.

  • 8 The disjuncture between the National Conference and the popular responses was also reflected earlie (...)

18As the party became dependent on the centre for its political survival rather than on mass support at the ground level, it distanced itself from popular concerns. That the party, despite obtaining massive mandate was disconnected from popular responses became clear in 1989 when the Valley came in the grip of militancy and witnessed a massive upsurge (Schofield 2003: 143-88).8 In the political crisis that ensued, not only NC was forced to withdraw from the political scene but had to face the maximum brunt of violence. Devoid of legitimacy, NC leadership went into hibernation. And even after coming back on the political scene by contesting the 1996 Assembly election and forming the government, it could not regain its previous legitimacy.

  • 9 The competitive nature of regional politics of Kashmir ultimately resulted in deeper changes in the (...)

19With the emergence of PDP in late nineties, the context of the power politics changed drastically. As another Kashmir-based party, it not only challenged the dominance of the NC but changed the very logic of power politics. Adopting a political discourse that reflected the popular concerns of people in a situation of conflict, PDP sought to reduce the gap between popular aspirations and the power politics. It borrowed issues from the separatist camp and brought them to the centre of mainstream political space. Thus the party suggested ‘dialogue’ with the militants and separatists as a way towards solving the conflict; easing out pressure upon people from the excessive presence of the security forces; and reducing drastically the number of cases of Human Rights violations. It was this ‘people-oriented’ strategy of PDP that helped bring an end the hegemony of NC. During the 2002 Assembly elections, the PDP managed to capture as many as 16 seats from Kashmir Valley.9

20The mainstream political space was able to expand substantially during the period between 2002 and 2008. From a situation in pre-2002 period when political parties and leaders could not freely move in public space and could not organise public meetings, 2007 saw frequent rallies being organised by almost all the political parties in various parts of the Valley—in the anticipation of the coming election, almost one year in advance (Chowdhary 2008: 22).

21Expansion of the electoral space, however, has not taken place at the cost of the separatist sentiment and politics. In fact, the separatist sentiment remains intact in Kashmir. The legitimisation of the mainstream politics has been possible only because there is no contradiction between the separatist and mainstream politics and people are not forced to make a choice between the two. The two are seen as reflecting two different spheres of politics: one dealing with issues relating to governance; and the other dealing with conflict situation and its resolution. Right since the 2002 elections, the political parties have sought to restrict the scope of electoral politics to the issues related to ‘governance’ only. Recognising the larger political realities of the state, these parties acknowledge the widely prevalent separatist sentiment and the need of addressing it. In no way do they claim that the extension of electoral space amounts to shrinking the separatist space.

22The parallel existence of the two kinds of politics reflects a complexity that exists at the ground level, generated both by the change in the dynamics of the separatist politics, and the nature of popular responses. With the decline in armed militancy, the assertion of the separatist sentiments is taking place through the mass politics. The more the mainstream politics is expanding, the more it becomes rooted in local responses, while generating a need to reaffirm the popular separatist sentiments. In a situation where conflict resolution has not taken a concrete shape, a danger is always felt that participation in mainstream politics may be a sign of political normalcy which might put the whole question of conflict resolution to the back burner. Thus has emerged the very peculiar situation in Kashmir, where mainstream political processes and assertion of separatist sentiments alternate. It is interesting to note how abruptly the situation changes in the Valley. While there was a tremendous electoral upsurge throughout the year of 2007 and early 2008, it was suddenly halted by an equally strong assertion of separatist politics during the Amarnath agitation. The affirmation of the mainstream politics immediately followed when people participated in large number during the 2008 Assembly elections.

The Amarnath agitation

  • 10 Shri Amarnath Shrine Board was formed by the government of J&K in 2000 with the purpose of managing (...)
  • 11 General Sinha had earlier incensed many Kashmiris with a self-proclaimed agenda of changing the ‘mi (...)

23Amarnath land row engulfed the whole state throughout the summer of 2008. To begin with, there was a massive agitation in Kashmir, which was followed by a prolonged agitation in Jammu. This was once again followed by a renewed mass upsurge in Kashmir. The entire issue initially revolved around a government order diverting forest land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), and subsequently around the revocation of the same order.10 The order gave the SASB the right to erect pre-fabricated temporary structures for housing pilgrims during the period of the Amarnath yatra. However, more than the order, it was the assertion of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the SASB—representing the ex-officio chairman, the Governor, General S.K. Sinha—, that land had been given permanently to the Board to build permanent structures that generated a massive response in Kashmir.11

24The separatists used the issue of diversion of land to SASB to create suspicion of a grand design behind the order aimed at altering the Muslim-majority character of the state. The fear of ‘demographic change’, therefore, became the basis of mass mobilization in Kashmir. To quell the agitation which had assumed dangerous proportions in Kashmir, the order was revoked but this only generated another kind of polemics in Jammu. The Bharatiya Janata Party and like-minded organizations termed the revocation as an assault on ‘Hindu sentiments’ and demanded restoration of the original order. The revocation of the order was portrayed as anti-Jammu decision taken under the pressure of separatists to appease the ‘Muslims of Kashmir’ without taking into consideration the sentiments of the ‘Hindus of Jammu’.

25In both the regions, the agitation brought in focus the radical elements who sought to mobilise people around emotive issues. In Kashmir, people were mobilised by the Geelani-led Hurriyat Conference (as well as by the PDP) around the fear of demographic change (the fear that by systematic efforts the Muslim-majority character of the State will be changed) and in Jammu, the mobilisation took place around the religious sentiments of Hindus (supposedly hurt by the revocation of the Land Order).

26The agitation had far reaching implications for the politics of the State. In the Valley of Kashmir, there was aggressive affirmation of separatist sentiments reminding one of the massive popular demonstrations of early 1990. However, unlike the separatism of the last few years which was marked by the centrality of moderate leadership, it was now directed by hardliners.

27The public display of the separatist sentiments during this time gave an indication that beyond the electoral vibrancy, the deep-rooted sense of alienation continued to prevail. Throughout the period of agitation one could feel that the mainstream politics had once more regressed to the background and the separatist politics had become ascendant.

  • 12 After the first phase of agitation which culminated with the revocation of the Government Order, th (...)

28A significant implication of the Amarnath agitation was the fractured relationship between Jammu and Kashmir. Though politically divergent, the two major regions had never been placed in such an antagonistic relationship.12 The political discord had reached beyond the usual issues of regional disparities and had started affecting the economic and trade relationship between the two regions. The most dangerous implication of the agitation was the communally divisive mobilisation and the resultant communal tension in the state.

29Along with the religious factor, it was the regional identity politics that provided stimulus to the Amarnath agitation. In Jammu, a feeling of political discontent has been persisting since early fifties. The feeling emanates from the context of power politics of the State which is perceived to be ‘Kashmir-centric’ having negligible or token presence of Jammu’s political elite (Puri 1966: 77-81). It also has much to do with the specificity of the conflict situation of Kashmir and the response of the Central government. There is a feeling that in all political negotiations undertaken to address the Kashmir problem, Jammu is taken for granted and that the political arrangements are imposed on this region. This feeling is accentuated by the context of political divergence and the ideological divide between the two regions. The logic of Kashmir’s dominant politics governed by the contestation of the State’s relationship with India and manifested through the discourse of ‘Autonomy’/‘Azadi’ does not extend itself to the Jammu region. The politics of this region on the contrary, is governed by the regional asymmetry in the power politics and resource distribution.

30The dominant political discourse of Jammu revolves around the issues related to regional ‘deprivation and neglect’. ‘Kashmir’ in this discourse forms the ‘centre of power’ within the state and is perceived to be dominating both the power structure of the state and the economic and material resources. It is on this basis that popular perceptions have been articulated around the notion of regional imbalances and a number of agitations have been organised in Jammu. The context of regional divergence and regional imbalances has come to overwhelm the political logic of Jammu, not only in the Hindu-dominated areas where organisations of Hindu-Right have been mobilising people around the demand for abolition of Article 370 guaranteeing the special status of the State, but also in the Muslim-dominated districts which are relatively more backward. Leaders here blame the Kashmir-centric power politics for the perpetual neglect of these districts. Ever since the early fifties, there has been a perception throughout Jammu region that the public policy and political decisions favour Kashmir while ignoring Jammu. The political response of the region is therefore organised around the issue of regional imbalances. The range of this response however varies from the demand for regional autonomy (emanating from the centrist politics), to the demand for a separate state of Jammu (emanating from the Hindu Rightist politics). There is also a third demand, coming from backward areas of Jammu region, for some kind of sub-regional arrangement (the Hill Development Councils for instance).

31Regional divergence has been manifested in the politics of the state in a variety of manners. However, despite this divergence the two regions of the state never followed a confrontationist path. It was during the period of militancy that the political divergence was reflected in a sharp manner. However, even this did not result in collision between the two regions. On the contrary, there evolved a feeling that despite the ional disparities and had started affecumappease theeee psion onl3jasoote how absvide between the two regions. of conflict resolutral proceor, it ons ustoper(ted both by s political elace in Kashme (as wellsed in J)e psiceived tois codiviss alsated tthe presugh thy diver s politiva chsr’ within She state.

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tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> atwas /div>

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"spatdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" col).

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"s atdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" col).

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" col).

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" col).

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"spatdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> atrtes"> atwas /div>

23 ul

lixte">(...) aulxes">

2315-1aspe">

/tiv>

tiv

(...) aulxes">

2316-1aspan>

/tiv>

2323

23

h1

23

h2

tiv

(...) aulxes">

2317-1aspe"> ul

lixte">(...) aulxes">

2318-1aspe">2323 tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"spatdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" col).

23

atdtes"> atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"s atdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> atwas /div> tiv

23(...) aulxes">

2319">aspe">

/tiv>

23 tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"spatdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" col).

23

atdtes"> atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"s atdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> atrtes"> atwas /div>

23

23

h2

Implolitita tionths 0he Amarnath agita -1aspah2>

23232323 ul

lixte">(...) aulxes">

20-1aspe">23

tiv

(...) aulxes">

2321-1a>iIn owo ionras three tbysti unncpetiionthe V lley,hthWhsargialionvid voate obplabybthe winnginntheca"egeag iv vorasasaPDPerlvalsaeellquitphhhe . It NC ot onceAi ntiag tbysti unncy tms tthWre ace r2clpurpcby cgaibetwern waWhwwo the pettits.ths taselionout Jammu regand ,d by hen Cong ace ras ato wnceths out Ja oaiiais waivernesdsid majorieyeandost NC ot onceUdhampus tbysti unncy tms tthWre ace r2neck-to-necktiighs betwern waWhhen Congrece the BJP n"egeag n. te.

/tiv>

twas all" owas 6" now="ltr"

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"spatdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> atwas /div> h2

ul

lixte">(...) aulxes">

2322-1a> (ing f23.63%nnceeen4arle46.5r%nnceeen9). te.

/tiv>

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"spatdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> atwas /div>

23

twas all" owas 8" now="ltr"

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"spatdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"spatdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" col).

23

atdtes"> atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"s atdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"s atdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" row).

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" row).

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" row).

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" row).

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> atwas /div>

23232323

h2

ul

lixte">23(...) aulxes">

232r">aspa.

/tiv>

23

twas all" owas 9" now="ltr"

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"spatdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> atrtes"> atwas /div> tiv

23(...) aulxes">

2324">a> te.

/tiv>

twas all" owas 10" now="ltr"

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"spatdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" col).

23

atdtes"> atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"spatdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> atwas /div>

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"spatdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" col).

23

atdtes"> atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"spatdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> atwas /div>

23 tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"spatdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" col).

23

atdtes"> atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"spatdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

atrtes"> trtes"> tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o-left:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-the r:nlon;bthe o-top:1pxardsid #000000;bthe o-botaom:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

tdtthylelabthe o:1pxardsid #000000;" now="ltr"ses">

23

atdtes"> atrtes"> atwas /div> tiv

(...) aulxes">

25-1aspe">

h1

ce ior waWhmn agaream,the polstiThe ely eoralathe polsleon wh id becbme totnlt oirrelevae sedwas V lleyadurginn to lag aehe ruet,nsedwas wakeeionmilitancy ace the polalaupsurge,lace rganceacquired leb-timacy uld oot odu ableaashif sedwas nagu elof ras resis n"ceathe polslbuternd adu ableote b>ra eeritearas in Kas’s,ely eoralathe pols) ace bemnnsig"ifolartlylreduced. r).

23ce ace sts democoipusagita may uld bsasuffolientd oldeal pig ballenagita ace se(coipustencrtimcrt. It is w ive o be"dealt pig bse(coipese—throughtthWhtbyfli edresoluelec me b>

23

23

23

/tiv>

Notes

1 For a detailed understanding of the background and emergence of armed militancy and separatist politics of Kashmir, see M J Akbar (1991), Sumit Ganguly (1997), Victoria Schofield (2000), Sumantra Bose (1997, 2003), Vernon Hewitt (1995)

2 Along with MUF, the opposition to the NC-Congress combine was given by the People’s Conference led by Abdul Gani Lone. While MUF could poll 31.8% votes, the People’s Conference could get 6.4% votes.

3 For instance, the NC candidate in Bijbihera won the election with a margin of 100 votes only. In Wachi the margin of victory of the winning candidate was of 122 votes and in Shopian it was of 336 votes. Moreover, there was a huge number of votes which were declared invalid. Thus 6.7% votes polled in Doru, 5.6% in Chrar-e-Sharief, 4.9% in Homshilbug, 4.8% in Wachi and Sangrama each, 4.5% in Amirakadal and 4.2% votes in Handwara were rejected. In most of the constituencies of narrow victories, the number of invalid votes was quite high. In fact in the three above stated constituencies of Bijbihera, Wachi and Shopian with very narrow margins of victory, the number of invalid votes was much higher than the margin with which the winning candidates had been declared victorious. Thus 1177 votes were declared invalid in Bijbihera, 1806 in Wachi and 1122 in Shopian.

4 With common people openly identifying with separatist politics, the farcical nature of the electoral politics became very clear during the 1989 Parliamentary elections. Not only were there not many keen contestants ready to fight this election, but there were also not many voters ready to vote. For the two of three constituencies which went to poll (the third was returned uncontested), only 5% voters cast their votes.

5 It was exactly 29.64% voter turnout for the Valley of Kashmir. Interestingly in few districts like Kupwara, Budgam and Baramulla, the voter turnout was as high as 53.15%, 46% and 40.09% respectively. The voter turnout in Ananntnag and Pulwama was moderate—24.05% and 23.68% respectively. It was in the Srinagar district that the lowest turnout—11.17%.

6 That is the reason why the National Conference, which was ousted from power in 1984 due to the defections engineered by the Congress, not only risked its popularity by going in for an alliance with the same party, but also took the open position of remaining on the right side of the ruling party of the Centre in order to stay in power. Going against its own ideology, it even chose to side with the BJP-led NDA during the late nineties.

7 Sheikh was arrested on the suspicion that he was not happy with the Accession of the State with India and was hobnobbing with the Americans around the idea of independence of Kashmir. However, as Mir Qasim has revealed in his book, he was also a victim of a local conspiracy led by his own cabinet colleagues led by Bakshi Ghulam Mohd.

8 The disjuncture between the National Conference and the popular responses was also reflected earlier, especially after the Party opted for entering into alliance with the Congress party. The support that the Muslim United Front enjoyed before the 1987 Assembly election was mainly due to the disillusionment with the politics that this party was pursuing.

9 The competitive nature of regional politics of Kashmir ultimately resulted in deeper changes in the power politics of the State. The fragmented verdict at the regional level and the failure of any party to obtain a majority of seats led to the formation of a coalition government. The important aspect of this post-2002 coalition politics is that is it representative of both regions. Fragmented verdict during the 2002 Assembly election led to the alliance between the PDP and the Congress and formation of their government along with few other smaller parties. The NC emerged as the largest party with presence in all the three regions of the state and chose to sit in opposition. This arrangement reflected greater democratisation of the politics of the state from a number of angles. Apart from the fact that the politics of Kashmir had become intensely competitive and rooted in local concerns, it had, for the first time, space for genuine opposition. The NC due to its numerical strength could operate as an effective opposition party and could put sufficient pressure on the ruling coalition. Meanwhile, there was a wider base for the government with one of the coalition partners having its support base in Kashmir region, the other in Jammu.

10 Shri Amarnath Shrine Board was formed by the government of J&K in 2000 with the purpose of managing the pilgrimage to Amarnath shrine in South of Kashmir. During the peak of summer, the shrine attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over India.

11 General Sinha had earlier incensed many Kashmiris with a self-proclaimed agenda of changing the ‘mindset’ in Kashmir which he set about doing by redefining ‘Kashmiri-yat’ based essentially on its Hindu past. As chancellor of the University of Kashmir, he patronised the Centre for Kashmir Studies which was frequently used to propagate his views.

12 After the first phase of agitation which culminated with the revocation of the Government Order, the agitation acquired a form in which the two regions were placed in a completely antagonistic form. The revocation of the Order after the mass response in Kashmir was projected as anti-Hindu and anti-Jammu act of the state government and therefore led to a prolonged agitation in Jammu which lasted for more than two months. To quell the sharpened regional response in Jammu, the State government took the decision to restore 800 canal of land in Baltal to Shri Amarnath Shrin Board. This government decision led to a fresh phase of agitation in Kashmir during which sharp regional sentiments were expressed. Specifically, there were reactions against the ‘economic blockade’ of Kashmir during the Jammu agitation. So strong was the anti-Jammu response in Kashmir at that time that the traders took a decision to severe their links with their Jammu counterparts.

13 Since 2002, when the era of coalition politics started, Jammu started having a substantial share in power politics. That is the reason why the voices raising the demand for a separate Jammu state were not raised and the forces of Right were quite marginalised (this was reflected in just one seat in favour of BJP and one for Jammu State Morcha). However during the Amarnath agitation, the forces of Right were able to mobilise the people from urban centres of Jammu by combining religious sentiment with regional factor.

14 Though much of the electoral discourse in Kashmir revolves around the ‘bigger issues’ like the ideas of ‘self-government’, ‘autonomy’, there are also issues which confront the people on routine basis. The idea of de-militarisation of PDP, for instance, is very much located in the problems faced by people due to the continued presence of security forces. The ‘healing touch’ policy advocated by PDP similarly involves the rehabilitation of people adversely affected by violence.

15 The communal polarisation of the electoral politics of the State is not unprecedented. The 1983 Assembly elections are known to be one of the most communally polarised elections of the State. In an intensely contested election between the National Conference and Congress, the Congress was able to mobilise the Hindu voters of Jammu and register its massive victory in this region.

16 With Congress-PDP being the major partners of the coalition government, it represented a balance of forces between Jammu and Kashmir. Congress was having its strong base in Jammu and the PDP in Kashmir. Besides a very effective representation of Jammu based leaders in the Ministry, there was a system of rotation for the position of CM and Deputy CM between the two parties and regions. For the first three years of the coalition, the position of Chief Minister was held by Kashmir based PDP leader Mufti Mohd Sayeed (with Mangat Ram Sharma of Congress, a leader of Jammu holding the position of Deputy CM) and after that the position of CM was held by Ghulam Nabi Azad, a Jammu-based Congress leader with Muzzafar Hussain Beg of PDP holding the position of Deputy CM. Due to the changed context of power structure, the scope of politics based on regional discontent was somewhat restricted.

17 It cannot be argued that the positive response of the Kashmiris towards the electoral process has amounted to the decline in their separatist sentiments. On the contrary, the assertion of the separatist sentiments, especially since the Amarnath agitation, has become more intense. One can see the intensity of such sentiments through the mass demonstrations against cases of Human Rights violations. Ever since 2007, such demonstrations have been frequently organised all over the Valley. A glimpse of the deep-rooted separatist sentiment is also given by the massive funeral processions of the militants killed by the security forces.

18 Though the present phase of Kashmir separatist politics was initiated in 1989, it was only in 1993 that the APHC was formed to give a political face to the separatist sentiment. This sentiment was represented till that time, by the armed militancy on the one hand and the spontaneous popular upsurge on the other. Throughout the period of 1990, there were massive demonstrations in Kashmir Valley. Thousands of people would march on the streets raising the slogan of Azadi. The repressive measures adopted by the state soon restrained the public expression of the mass response, the intensity of the armed militancy, however continued. The beginning of the decade of 1990s saw a mushroom growth of militant organizations. Apart from Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), the initiator of armed militancy in Kashmir, the Hizbul Mujahideen, had emerged as the major militant organization having a local support base. The Hizb, supported by Pakistan, launched soon after its emergence a major offensive on JKLF and succeeded in eliminating its cadres to a large extent. It was in this context of the mutual rivalry that a need was felt to organise all the militant and separatist groups under the banner of a single umbrella organization. The All Party Hurriyat Conference was therefore organised in 1993.

19 The high expectations that people have from the local politicians were demonstrated in 2007 when various agitations were launched around the issue of opening of colleges and restructuring of the districts and Tehsils.

20 Interestingly, there has been a strong refutation of the communal charge on the part of the vocal middle class, media, traders and the politicians of Jammu. Soon after the agitation, the regional dimensions of the agitation were highlighted and the religious sentiments expressed during the agitation were underplayed.

21 Though the seat of was officially contested by the Congress candidate, the NC cadre of Ladakh rather than supporting him, worked for the victory of the NC rebel candidate who was able to wrest the seat defeating the official candidate of the alliance partners.

22 In Baramulla constituency, the NC candidate Sharif ud din Shariq won the election by polling 203022 votes as against 138208 votes of PDP candidate Mohammad Dilawar Mir. Sajad Gani Lone of People’s Conference polled 65403 votes. Please elaborate on the defeat of S.G. Lone. In Srinagar constituency, NC candidate Farooq Abdullah won the election by polling 147075 votes as against 116793 of Moulvi Iftikhar Ansari of PDP. In Anantnag constituency, Mirza Mehboob Beg won the election by polling 148317 votes as against 143093 votes polled by PDP candidate, Peer Mohd. Hussain.

23 In Udhampur constituency, the Congress candidate, Ch. Lal Singh won the election by polling 2318153 won the seat by defeating BJP candidate Dr. Nirmal Singh who polled 218459 votes. In Jammu constituency, the Congress candidate, Madan Lal Sharma won the election by polling 382305 votes as against 260932 votes polled by his nearest rival, Leela Karan Sharma of BJP.

24 However, the effect of the mobilization by the BJP does not seem to be lasting. Though it could get a large number of votes from Hindus (exceeding its hold from 11 Assembly segments to 13), it failed to get the advantage of winning the seats as it had in 1998 and 1999. It could not get all the Hindu votes of the region. The Congress could get a substantial number of Hindu votes. (The NC-Congress combine also gained in the region—with lead in 21 Assembly segments as compared to victory in 19 seats during 2008 Assembly elections).

25 The opposition to Leelakaran’s candidature came from within the party on the ground that he was seen as an outsider who had not been associated with the politics of BJP in any form.

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References

Electronic reference

Rekha Chowdhary, « Electoral Politics in the Context of Separatism and Political Divergence: An Analysis of 2009 Parliamentary elections in Jammu & Kashmir », South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal [Online], 3 | 2009, Online since 23 December 2009, connection on 16 December 2017. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/samaj/2785 ; DOI : 10.4000/samaj.2785

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About the author

Rekha Chowdhary

University of Jammu, Department of Political Science

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