The majority of people in south Kashmir districts continued to stay away from the ballot box on Saturday in the maiden District Development Council (DDC) polls.
In the eighth and last phase of DDC polls, Pulwama recorded a voting percentage of 8.50%, Kulgam 11.20%, Shopian 8.58% and Anantnag 8.66%.
Locals told KNO that in return of votes, they have only received body bags of youth over the years.
“We voted in 2014 but, in return, we received dead bodies of our youth. Hundreds are languishing in jails on charges of Over Ground Worker (OGW), while many have lost their eyesight,” a voter said.
Hilal Ahmad, a resident of Zainapora area in Shopian, said that they have been always fooled in the name of ‘development’.
“First we were asked to elect Panch/Sarpanch for development. Then we were told the same in BDC polls, then the same development plank was used during assembly and parliamentary elections,” Hilal said. “But after every election, this development remains confined to politicians and their relatives.”
A resident of Kakapora, Manzoor Ahmad, said that dozens of youth have been detained under fake charges, while jobs and land rights are being forcibly snatched from Kashmiris.
“These regional parties have given us nothing in the last 70 years. And BJP, last year, snatched our every right forcibly, so how can we trust anyone? When BDCs couldn’t do anything for us what will these DDCs do? Better is to stay away from polls,” Manzoor said.
Many other residents of south Kashmir echoed the same voice.
“Whosoever comes in power, they only look after their own welfare. The slogans of development remain only till elections are over,” they said. (KNO)