Upbeat over the Aam Aadmi Party’s unexpected victory in Delhi, politicians not associated with traditional parties in Jammu and Kashmir are predicting a “change” and big surprises in 2014 Assembly elections in the State.
“People in Jammu and Kashmir are encouraged by the results in Delhi. The Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) victory has given them a hope that the system can be changed,” said Engineer Sheikh Abdur Rashid, the independent MLA who recently floated the Awami Ittihad Party.
Maintaining that politics in Delhi is different from that in Kashmir, Rashid said he was not talking just about the human rights issues but also about corruption, transparency, accountability and good governance.
“We’ve decided not to give poll tickets to candidates having criminal cases against them. Besides, the party president can only get two terms and can’t contest afterwards,” he said.
Rashid said “good people” should join politics, rather than letting traditional parties such as the National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Congress, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) enjoy a “free hand”.
Hakim Mohammad Yasin, an MLA from Budgam district, said people wanted change in the system. “It is possible and the 2014 Assembly polls in the state will surprise many. There will definitely be a change in the 2014 polls and we can also play a role on our part,” added the leader who is part of the newly floated Third Front.
Third Front convener and CPM MLA Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said the Aam Aadmi Party phenomenon was the outcome of “a particular sentiment” but the people in the state were also looking for alternatives.
“Our front will also play its part and contribute towards the change,” the CPM leader said.
Separatist-turned-mainstream leader Sajjad Gani Lone said many big names would bite the dust in 2014. Voters below 40 are mature and will vote on the basis of performance, he added.
“The balance of will be in favour of new entrants as the percent of voting will be on the higher side this time-- some 40-50 per cent. A large turnout will lead to the debacle of some big candidate and usher in a new era of change,” said the People’s Conference chairman who unsuccessfully contested Parliamentary elections from North Kashmir in 2009.