The recently held farcical elections in occupied Kashmir have exposed the real face of Indian ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and all pro-India Kashmiri parties. These polls showed the double-speak of Narendra Modi-led BJP and its nefarious intensions against Kashmir and the Kashmiris’ just struggle for securing their inalienable right to self-determination. At the same time the fact became crystal clear that pro-India parties can go to any extent to grab power in the territory.

Before the sham polls, BJP had claimed to win 44 plus seats of the 87 member so-called Kashmir Assembly. During the election campaign, the BJP leaders used every tactic to exploit the voters in their favour. In their addresses to the election rallies held in Jammu region, they raised the issue of abrogating the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir. While speaking at the similar election gatherings in the Kashmir Valley, they abstained from touching this sensitive issue and rather made tall claims of development. However, the BJP could secure only 25 seats in Jammu while it could not win even a single seat in the Valley.

These results show that the Modi wave that swept across India during the Indian Parliamentary elections in May 2014 could not impress the Kashmiri people, who totally rejected the communal agenda of the party known for its anti-Muslim and anti-Kashmir policy.

The Kashmiri people also gave a befitting reply to some announcements made by Narendra Modi and decisions taken by him after assuming the charge as Indian prime minister in May 2014. They made it clear that they would not allow anybody to undermine their ongoing just liberation struggle. Modi had announced to start debate after coming into power over the continuation of the Article 370, setting-up of high security separate colonies in the Kashmir Valley for the Kashmiri Pandits who had migrated from the territory to Jammu and different Indian states in 1990s and asked the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to vacate its office in New Delhi. These actions were aimed at permanently annexing Jammu and Kashmir with the Indian Union, maligning the Kashmiris’ liberation movement as a communal one and downplaying the relevance of the UN and to keep the World Body away from raising its voice for resolution of the Kashmir dispute. Even after failing to achieve its desired results during the sham polls, BJP is now using every wicked tactic to form puppet regime in occupied Kashmir and pressurising the pro-India People Democratic Party (PDP), which emerged as the largest party with 28 seats, to form a coalition government.

It is a reality that Kashmiri people are emotionally very much attached to the liberation movement and they always remain ready to render all kinds of sacrifices for the cause of freedom from India. Their participation in polling process should not be wrongly construed as their detachment from the freedom movement. They even expressed their liberation sentiments by raising pro-freedom slogans during the polling. At the same time the illegal detention and house arrest of Hurriyet leaders to prevent them from conducting election boycott campaign raised serious question on the credibility of the polling process. How can these sham polls have any sort of credibility when these are being held under the roaring guns of seven hundred thousand occupation forces’ personnel?

Indian leaders particularly BJP and Narendra Modi must understand that Kashmiris would not allow their communal agenda to succeed in the territory and instead of staging polls dramas they must give the Kashmiri their right to self-determination.

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