Srinagar, Mar 19: Not holding Assembly and Parliamentary polls together is likely to impact the overall voter turnout in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in the valley, claim valley based experts in politics.
This year many new parties have come to the fore and the Centre is likely to enhance its deployment of forces in Kashmir to ensure “violence free elections.”
However with spontaneous disturbance across the valley coupled with delaying of the Assembly elections by the Centre, the experts claim a major proportion of the people are likely to keep away from casting their votes.
“Parliamentary election in Kashmir usually invite low voter turnout. Had it been both Lok Sabha and General Assembly elections held together in the state the voter turnout could be expected higher. As of now, we don’t see chances of any major turn out in voting ahead especially in Kashmir,” said Prof Gul Muhammad Wani who teaches Political Science at Kashmir University.
Wani expressed doubt over the participation of newly formed parties in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
“I am not sure if these smaller parties will field their candidates. Even if their leaders file nomination, people won’t vote for them in huge proportion compared to the two main political parties of Kashmir (NC and PDP),” Wani said.
“Many parties will use this election to mobilise people for the upcoming assembly elections,” he said.
In 2014 LS polls, 49.7 per cent voter turnout was recorded in Jammu and Kashmir. Barring Jammu, people mostly in Kashmir prefer to choose boycott over ballot as only 11.46% voter turnout was recorded in summer capital.
In 2017 by-polls, the turnout in Srinagar dipped further to only seven percent as violence and killing gripped the valley on poll day.
Prof Noor Ahmad Baba, another expert in politics, claims the parliamentary elections in Kashmir won’t be a “bigger affair” as he believes that there are less “reaction” votes from the valley.
“In other states people vote to express their dissent, which is not in case of Kashmir. Some people will vote here positively. The turnout is expected to be higher in Assembly polls ahead,” he said.
Prof Baba said the emergence of new parties too won’t woo many people to cast their vote for them.
“These new parties won’t have much impact immediately. Sajad Lone has no appeal outside Baramulla and Shah Faesal too can’t make a bigger difference. However, if NC and Congress form an alliance then some may come out to vote,” he said.
After Noori, Kashmir scientists planning to clone Hangul
Srinagar, Apr 25: After successfully cloning Pashmina goat in 2012, the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry at SKUAST-K is now contemplating to make clone of Kashmir Stag (Hangul).
Realising that the Hangul was gradually getting extinct from the valley, the scientists at Department of Biotechnology SKUAST-K Shuhama came up with this idea.
“This project is in infancy as we require permission from Wild Life department, local government and Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA),” said Dr Riyaz Ahmad Shah, a veterinarian in the animal biotechnology center of SKUAST.
Shah said the execution of the project would require heavy funding and creation of the advanced infrastructure in the research centre.
“First of all a Deer park in needed where there these animals must have been already reared. Then advanced infrastructure is need as we currently have some basic machinery here. So overall this project can be only executed when the government is serious in accomplishing it,” he said.
He said the cloning could be achieved by using the body cells of some other inter-species including a goat or a sheep.
While the initial work including the framing of paper has been done, Shah said the tracing and catching this rare animal was becoming equally challenging for the concerned department.
“They usually die on being caught by the people. Still it could be managed but they are not being currently traced in abundance in the forests here,” he said.
Shah believed that cloning of the deer can be an equally effective process like breeding procedure done to improve their population.
Official data reveals that population of Hangul has reduced to from 5,000 to 182 in last 118 years.
Department of Wildlife’s data shows the population of Kashmiri Hangul in 1900 was 5,000, spread over 65 miles from north to east of the Jhelum and lower Chenab valley.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is also all set to declare it a ‘critically endangered’ species to protect this beautiful animal from disappearing from earth.
In 2012, scientists at Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) successfully cloned the first Pashmina goat. The healthy female goat was born using a foster mother and it took two years for standardisation of the technique.
Assembly polls in JK: EC to convene meeting today
New Delhi, Apr 25: Election Commission of India (ECI) officials will meet on Friday to discuss assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
Officials of the Jammu and Kashmir government are also expected to attend the meeting to assess whether the state assembly elections can be conducted in June this year.
While announcing the seven-phase Lok Sabha election schedule on March 10, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora had said that elections for the Jammu and Kashmir assembly would not be conducted along with the Lok Sabha elections. In June 2018, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had withdrawn support to the PDP, led by Mehbooba Mufti in the 87-member state assembly.
Since the fallout of the coalition government, the state has been under President’s rule.
IT Dept searches premises of kin of ex-minister
Srinagar, Apr 25: The Income Tax Department Thursday carried out searches at two premises of a kin of Imran Reza Ansari, a former minister in the PDP-BJP coalition, for alleged tax evasion, officials said here.
They said the income tax officials, assisted by the Jammu and Kashmir police and the CRPF, carried out the searches at a business complex in the upmarket Karan Nagar where locations of North Point Complex were searched by the tax personnel.
Later, a team was sent to search another premises of the family at Alamgiri Bazar in the downtown Srinagar.
The income tax officials maintained that Thursday’s raids were carried out on a business family and were in no way connected to Ansari, a politician who switched over to People’s Conference led by Sajad Lone.
Ansari’s sister is married to the family whose premises have been raided.