Srinagar: The mainstream politics in Kashmir is witnessing fresh undercurrents of political activity, first time since August 5 when Article 370 was abrogated, and Jammu and Kashmir bifurcated into two union territories.
Even though everybody is tight-lipped about any possible political development as some of the prominent politicians including three former chief ministers continue to remain under detention. New Delhi, said sources, is continuously reaching out to people and is in touch with some regional leaders to shape up a new face of mainstream in Kashmir.
Former minister Ghulam Hassan Mir told NewsClick that the situation in the region demands a renewed approach. “Everything has changed after August 5 and so has the politics, and it is possible that a new mainstream could be in the offing,” Mir said.
He added that in the wake of a tumult in the regional politics, members of the existent parties will go for revival which can result in new meeting points and cause their breakaway from their respective political outfits.
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Regional politics came to a standstill after the government detained scores of political activists and politicians including top leadership from mainstream parties like National Conference, People’s Democratic Party and People’s Conference. Those arrested in what the government termed as “preventive detentions” included three former chief ministers of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir – Omar Abdullah, Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.
As many as 24 politicians are still lodged at Srinagar’s MLA hostel, a government accommodation turned sub-jail. The government, however, began releasing members of the political parties since November 25. Recently, on January 3, four members including Hakeem Yasin of PDF, Rafi Mir, Ashraf Mir and Abdul Majeed Padder of PDP were released.
Their release comes after many members from both NC and PDP were released earlier this month.
Party insiders from both NC and PDP told NewsClick that they are observing and are aware of Delhi’s attempts through senior party members. A member of NC said that these attempts are not “fresh.”
“It has been a while that we have become privy to the emergence of a third front but, so far they have not been successful in bringing members from NC into its fold which is keeping these developments under wraps,” the member said.
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As far as PDP is concerned, many are eyeing the attendance of party members on the upcoming death anniversary of former chief minister and founder of the party, Mufti Mohammad Sayed, on January 7. According to sources, political activity in the valley is expected to increase after Mufti’s anniversary.
Party members are also closely following senior regional leaders like Tariq Karra of Congress, Muzaffar Baig of PDP and former PDP minister Altaf Bukhari who have so far been silent about the developments and their personal political plans.