After a thrashing loss in the Assembly Elections in Jammu and Kashmir, the top losers are in major introspection mode as voters who rejected them are rejoicing with a hope that these big guns will understand the importance of voters in coming years.The big guns who lost the elections included Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather, Health Minister Taj Mohiuddin, Transport Minister Chodhri Muhammad Ramzan, Agriculture Minister Ghulam Hasan Mir, National Conference provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani, Tourism Minister Ghulam Ahmed Mir, Senior Congress leader Pirzada Muhammad Sayeed, Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand, Deputy Speaker Sartaj Madni, senior PDP leaders Pirzada Mansoor and Rafi Mir and PHE minister Sham Lal Sharma. The losers list included the name of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah as well. Most of the losers were either from National Conference or Congress party, who remained at the helm of affairs from past six years.
Political analysts believe that both National Conference and Congress party suffered heavily as these parties lack transparency and accountability.
“Leave aside Congress party, let us concentrate on National Conference candidates who lost the elections. All of them belong to such a party that lacks transparency and accountability. There needed to be more accountability and transparency within the party. National Conference leaders and Ministers never took their workers into confidence and they never heard their grievances,” a political analyst told CNS adding that some of the legislators who tasted defeat were never accessible to people.A lot of us felt our voices were never heard. We felt our voices don't matter. This has to change. The workers and common supports and voters should not feel we are being not heard,” said an NC worker wished not to be named.
The dissent is not only found among NC supporters but erstwhile PDP supporters too feel that their leaders disappoint them. “I voted for PDP in 2008 but this time around I changed my mind and exercised my franchise in favour of Congress party. The reason was obvious: my candidate out of ‘arrogance’ never picked up my phone. He never was keen to solve our problems,” said an erstwhile voter from South Kashmir’s Shangus constituency. Another voter from Pahalgam who attributed PDP’s Pahalgam candidate’s defeat to floods told CNS that their candidate whom they had elected during 2008 never came forward for their help. “It was another candidate who appeared on scene and helped people. We don’t want to elect a candidate who is haughty and prefers to live in mansions,” he said.
A Congress leader admitted that people want accessibility more than development. “Today’s voter is conscious of his rights and he is very intelligent. He outrightly rejects a candidate who is not accessible to him. Big guns lost because people had no access to them. These leaders tried to mingle with voters during election time but all in vain,” he said. The erstwhile supporter of a political big gun whose political hegemony ended after 37 years with a crushing defeat on Dec 23 said that his candidate changed his mobile numbers off and on to avoid his people. “Our candidate never visited our area. Whenever, we tried to contact him, we were told that he is outside state or in a meeting. It was better for us to elect a candidate who could mingle with us and hear our problems,” said Irshad Ahmed.