Compared to the 2002 polls, nominations in the ten assembly constituencies going for polls in the first phase in J&K have doubled this year.
In a surprise move, the BJP has decided to field 17 Muslims in the polls. The BJP, one of the constituents of the Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangarsh Samiti, led the agitation in Jammu in the wake of the Amarnath row.
The party has decided to contest election from Uri, Kupwara, Khansahib, Hazratbal, Sangrama, Gulmarg, Anantnag, Bijebhra, Kulgam, Anantnag Pattan, Budgam, Shopian, Dooru, Kokkernag, and Pahalgam in the Kashmir valley.
Compared to 72 nominations in 2002, the 10 assembly constituencies — Bandipore, Sonawari, Gurez, Poonch-Haveli, Surankote, Mendhar, Leh, Nubra, Kargil, Zanskar — have registered 148 nominations this year.
This is being interpreted as a sign of enthusiasm among people about the polls in rural areas. Though many view it as a sign of non- participation of people.
“The reason is simple. These candidates know that there would be a massive boycott this time and anyone having influence in a particular pocket or tribe would sail through,” said Noor-ul-Qamrain, a political commentator.
In the Jammu region, 52 have filed nominations from three constituencies – 17 from Poonch-Haveli, 20 from Surankote and 15 from Mendhar. All these areas are afflicted by militancy. In 2002, only 32 had filed nominations from these areas.
In Leh district, 19 nominations for two constituencies —- Leh registered 10 and Nubra nine —- have been filed against four in 2002. Kargil has recorded 23 nominations this time against 17 in 2002.