The postponement of Anantnag Assembly elections has got the 'Opposition parties' all active, mostly on Facebook and Twitter. While they put Facebook Posts and Tweets all over the internet, they seem totally out of sync with the 'Ground situation' in the Valley. We do not have to turn back the clock too much to know what transpired in Handwara. The unfortunate incident did happen, the Government of the day decided in all its wisdom to not only concentrate on the much more important job at hand (normalizing the situation) but also to respect the sentiment, mood and 'sensitivity' of the situation and therefore recommend delaying the election. What fault could the 'Opposition' possibly find with that? Do they want elections while Kashmir has to deal with a sensitive situation and while we must look to 'collectively' handle the situation with the utmost care and respect? While the Opposition should have applauded the Government for showing respect towards its people, it has chosen to play petty politics, one that is short lived anyways. I find it rather unbelievable that parties with history that goes back a long way could find nothing constructive as an Opposition and have chosen to disrespect the emotion and sentiment behind the 'recommendation' that was made by the J&K Government.
They accuse the Chief Minister of trying to run away from the contest and fearing defeat in the election and therefore recommending postponement of Assembly elections for Anantnag. When one makes tall claims, he must keep 'history' in mind, else history has this cruel habit of coming back to hit you in your face. A classic example of 'running away' from a contest is to refuse to contest from a constituency that you and your family represented for years together, a great example of 'fearing defeat' would be to contest elections from two constituencies, making a desperate attempt to make it to the Assembly. Moreover, I hope they understand that they are also accusing the Election Commission of malpractice by postponing an election with ulterior motives, an argument which does not hold much water, given the fact the election has to happen. If the Opposition is so confident about the election, it need not worry too much about its postponement as the election will happen, if not today, then tomorrow, it cannot be pushed till eternity.
We all understand that Kashmir is one of the most sensitive places to govern and the responsibility of the Opposition parties also goes up by a few notches. We hope that things normalize and the sensitivities of the people are always borne in mind. I refuse to yield to the childish barbs of the Opposition and applaud the Government for having respected the situation and sentiment.
(Wasim Beg is Advocate Supreme Court)