Binoo Joshi

JK News Today Special Commentary

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended a very special congratulations to voters of Anantnag-Rajouri constituency which went to polls on Saturday – May 25- and called it a “ vibrant testament to their democratic spirit.” In between the lines of this statement is a victory of democracy and the decisive defeat of Pakistan sponsored terrorism , both attributable to the removal of Article 370 in August 2019.

In a message posted on X, , the Prime Minister wrote : “ A very special congratulations to my sisters and brothers of Anantnag -Rajouri for the record turnout in the Lok Sabha polls . their enthusiastic participation is a vibrant testament to their democratic spirit .”

PM who has been congratulating the voters of Kashmir Valley ever since the polling took place in Srinagar parliamentary constituency and that recorded more than 38 per cent of voting , chose to extend special congratulations to the voters of Anantnag-Rajouri constituency for two obvious reasons . First , this is the only among the five constituencies that straddles between South of the Kashmir Valley and the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch of Jammu region. The voting in this constituency reflected a shared vision of the voters of the two regions . .

Second , Anantnag constituency , which lies in the core of south Kashmir and had been a hub of secessionist terrorism , where stone-throwing and bullets had become a way of life, the high turn out after a gap of almost 40 years demonstrated their faith in the changed situation . South Kashmir was among the subregions in the Valley that continued to appear on the map of terrorism time and again .
The other part of the newly crafted constituency by the Delimitation Commission in May 2022 by making it to straddle between the two regions , that Rajouri-Poonch hills have been witnessing high-profile attacks on the armed forces . A recent attack on IAF convoy left an IAF personnel; dead and four others wounded . The terrorists , though very few in number, have advantage of terrain, forests and hard rocks in the sub region that borders Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir . This is a unique constituency , not only in Jammu and Kashmir but also in the whole of the country.

Voters in Rajouri-Poonch were visible to Pakistani army and people . They made it known to the other side of the LoC or Line of Control that divides Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan that how they were participating in the festival of democracy in India. It is significant because the residents of PoJK have no access to the National Assembly elections . they have no right to vote for the parliamentary elections there, while that is available to the voters in Pakistan . They have been denied their voice in the parliament of the neighbouring country.
By hailing the high turnout of Anantnag constituency and complimenting the democratic spirit of the voters , Prime Minister has underlined that how the people were getting mainstreamed into India and beneficiaries of the democratic rights . It was also a clear message to Pakistan , though he did not name the country, that democracy has come back in Jammu and Kashmir, defeating all the designs that the neighbouring country had made to destroy the fabric of social, political integration of J&K with India . The Pakistan sponsored terrorism has met its waterloo.