Srinagar, December 24: Contrary to the self-congratulatory statements of BJP leaders and admin heads, the just concluded District Development Council (DDC) elections aren’t being seen in the same light at the international level. Foreign observers and media have raised serious questions about the timing and the manner in which the elections were conducted with most of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) leaders under restrictions and facing one or the other case in the court of law. Pertinently PAGD still managed many more seats than BJP.
In its scathing report of the DDC election, Financial Times called the elections staged. ‘This is all a façade’: Kashmiris vote in staged election, said the headline. The report further said: “In Kashmir, in some polling stations there were twice as many soldiers as voters and the internet was shut off.”
Note academic and former VC of the Islamic University of Kashmir said, “It’s a deep irony for India to call itself a democracy. This is no different than Xinjiang in China.”
New York Times said in its report: “Officials hailed a solid turnout as a sign that democracy has been restored, but little in Kashmir feels normal.”
“Anti-Modi political alliance in Kashmir win big in local polls,” said Turkey based TRT in its headline, “Over 51 percent of nearly 6 million eligible voters across the region’s 20 districts cast their ballots, the Election Commission said, but it comes as many politicians and prominent leaders remain locked up indefinitely.”