There is no poll buzz at political parties’ headquarters in Srinagar with elections just days away. While the September floods devastated the offices, the city’s historic venue, Municipal Park, which hosts numerous poll rallies, remains in ruins.
The derelict state of the party offices is visible in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk area. Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) functions from barracks and make-shift rooms.
“Mud has been used in the construction of our two-storey building. It’s very old and the flood has devastated it. It remains unsafe to function from there,” said PDP spokesman Naeem Akhtar.
The National Conference’s (NC) historic structure of the Nawai Subha complex has lost its conference rooms and media centre.
“We have shifted to the first floor. The ground floor is completely shut. It’s impossible to operate them immediately,” said NC spokesperson Junaid Azim Mattu. “In comparison to the 2008 assembly poll rallies, the mood among people is very low. How can we ask for votes when there are fresh memories of devastation and sufferings?” Mattu added.
Similarly, the Congress has pitched tent outside its party headquarters for party functions. “Only one computer room is functional in our three-storey building. The water damaged our computerised records too,” said Congress MLC Ghulam Nabi Monga. Many smaller parties also lost their offices.
Srinagar has also lost three public venues — the TRC Stadium, Sher-i-Kashmir cricket grounds and Municipal Park to the floods.