Assembly polls will bridge widened gap between 'J'

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Jammu, Oct 19 (UNI) Mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir perceive the Election Commission's announcement of the seven-phased polls in the state as an ''opportunity to bridge the widened gap'' between Jammu and Kashmir regions on the controversial Amarnath land issue.

''Elections are an opportunity to bridge the gulf between the regions as well as to teach lessons to the subversive forces in the state,'' state BJP spokesman Prof Hair Om said.

Asserting that the ECI's announcement for polls has inflicted psychological defeat to the separatists, Prof Hari Om said, ''Political parties should come up with state-centric and secular approach to take this opportunity for bridging the widened gap between the regions and not with vote-centric politics.'' Though apprehensive about ''communal forces playing dirty politics'', the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Party (JKPCC) also takes the elections as an opportunity for bridging the regional gap.

''If the political parties behave responsibly, certainly the gap between the Jammu and Kashmir people will be bridged,'' JKPCC spokesperson Ravinder Sharma said, adding the Congress will be projecting developmental and political achievements of Centre and Ghulam Nabi Azad-led State Government.

CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami said the political parties should a learn lesson from the ''unfortunate'' recent past in the state and behave in ''responsible fashion'' so that the people of both the regions come closer to each other.

Maintaining the secular and democratic approach of National Conference, party's provincial president Ajay Sadhotra said communal and vote-centric politics of some parties could further alienate the divide.

''We would have to defeat separatists and divisive forces to set up a democratic government in Jammu and Kashmir,'' Mr Sadhotra said.

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