Facing a highly polarised and fractured vote bank, opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed on Monday sought clear majority from voters to resolve the Kashmir problem.
"If at the national level and in major states like UP, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu people can give a decisive mandate to a single party for effective governance there is no reason why Jammu and Kashmir can't do similarly as we have a history of giving massive mandates in the past to one single party. This time the PDP eminently qualifies for people's trust and vote," said the former state chief minister.
Addressing party workers in the Abdullahs' bastion in Srinagar's Sonawar constituency, Sayeed claimed his party was the "only antidote to the communal polarisation".
"When we talk of resolving the Kashmir issue we mean establishing friendly relations between our country and Pakistan and making Jammu and Kashmir a bridge between the two countries rather than a bone of contention," he added.
Since 2002, the PDP has been able to make inroads into the separatist constituencies by taking up resolution of the Kashmir issue and favouring a dialogue with Pakistan.
Describing the upcoming elections are "crucial in many senses", he said, "The implications of the upcoming elections are beyond government formation and the results would be crucial to safeguarding
interests of the state, resolution of Kashmir problem and securing the rights of J&K within the Union."
He said the fragmentation of votes had in the last elections resulted in the formation of a government that "neither had any political agenda nor a commitment towards the people of the state."
"Mere numerical strength in assembly by making alliances without a political objective or development goals cost the state dearly during the last six years. We need to come out of the fixation that coalitions are inevitable," he added.
The former union home minister said the next six years are crucial for not only ensuring good governance but accomplishing the challenging task of rebuilding safe, sustainable and planned infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir especially in the aftermath of the devastating floods that hit the state last month.
"The disaster caused by the floods could be turned into an opportunity by a government with full mandate and sincere agenda to rebuild the state and its economy in a way that it could in reality enjoy the amenities and avenues of growth available to 21st century societies," he added.