Let democracy flourish
Eight-Phased of District Development Council (DDC) elections is over and the contestants and those who voted are eagerly waiting the D-Day when the votes of 280 constituencies, spread over 20 districts of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir are counted. While the readers will be reading this small piece of writing, the candidates would be holding their breaths at different counting centres. It is first time in the history of J&K that these elections have been held to establish a three-tier panchayat raj system. The intention and purpose of this system is to take the democracy to the grass-root level and thus ensure the participation and stake-holding of every citizen the process of progress and development. While thanking people, security agencies, state election commission and political parties, the Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, after the culmination of elections said that in coming days, “the DDCs will be formed for the development of each district. The elected representatives will get full responsibility and we will work together to strengthen democracy at the grass-roots level to take J&K to the new heights of development and the welfare schemes will reach every household.” That is what the people, who came out to vote braving sub-zero temperatures, expect from the administration. Since dissolution of State (erstwhile) Assembly, the administration has rarely been having any contact or communication with the masses. Now is the time they expect that they are going to be heard. They have reposed their confidence in those whom they voted and expect them to become voice of voiceless besides addressing their developmental issues.
That said, the Lt. Governor administration needs to be appreciated for smooth conduct of polls. Though there have been some complaints registered by some contesting parties, by and large the poll process remained free and fair. Given past experience of some elections, security was what worried most of the people. However, barring a few incidents, election process concluded in a very peaceful manner. Any election, as rightly put forth by the Lt. Governor, is a festival of democracy and the people of Jammu and Kashmir took part in this festival enthusiastically. Peoples’ enthusiasm needs recognition and that recognition will be making the DDCs operational without any delay and concentrate on development from the basic units – that are villages. This should also trigger a thinking process within the system regarding assembly elections. If DDC elections could be held in a peaceful, free and fair manner, why to delay the assembly elections. Let these elections be held sooner so that democracy flourishes in Jammu and Kashmir.