JK: People will vote for development

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Srinagar, Nov 2: People in Kashmir valley will this time vote for development of their local areas during the ensuing Assembly elections, leaving the resolution of the Kashmir issue for separatists.

Interestingly, sensing the mood of the people, the mainstream national and regional political parties contesting the polls, also declared that the elections will have nothing to do with the Kashmir issue.

The parties, who were declaring the accession of the state with the Union of India final in the past, remained silent on the issue this time. However, they said Kashmir issue has to be resolved through dialogue.

The common people, who have made up their mind to vote said it was a democratic right of every citizen to participate in the process and elect a representative of their choice. ''We know these leaders have no role in the resolution of the Kashmir valley as Centre has to talk to separatists to find out a durable solution for permanent peace in the region,'' they said.

However, majority of people in Srinagar city and major towns of the valley, are yet to decide their participation as they are influenced by the recent pro-freedom processionists.

The situation in other rural and far flung areas was totally different as people are ready to vote.

Abdul Gaffar, a 65-year-old villager at Bandipora, said he has voted in all previous elections, including in 1996 when the threat perception was very high.

He said a lot of work has been done in the area but still much more needed.

''We are voting for development, including construction of roads, drains, proper water and power supply,'' he said.

Similar sentiments were also expressed by others in the district where three Assembly segments of Gurez, Bandipora and Sonawari are going to polls on November 17 in the first phase, along with seven other constituencies -- four in Ladakh region and three in Poonch district.

They said there would be some impact of the poll boycott call of separatists, particularly among the young generation.

The situation in Uri, which witnessed highest number of poll percentage in the past, was no different this time too as people are eager to vote.

However, they alleged that their rehabilitation after 2005 devastating quake was not properly done. ''Still our schools are working in the open and affected families have to yet get compensation.

''Despite all this we will vote and try to elect a representative who could work for the betterment of the area,'' said Hakim Din, a daily labourer.


UNI

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