Jammu & Kashmir parties, politicians seek vote by invoking divisive slogans, agendas like Chenab Valley

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To get some votes, and to win some assembly seats attempts are being made by some top political parties as well as members of fringe separatist groups to make a cause for chenab Valley, and divide Jammu province on the lines of the Dixon formula which had proposed to divide the region on religious lines. As per the formula, it was suggested to divide the Jammu province into three sub-regions viz-Chenab Valley, Pir Panjal, and plains of Jammu as per the religious contours which would have hived off the Muslim dominated areas of the Hindu majority province, and created a permanent wedge among people. Although this plan was not successful but in the recent past there have been attempt by Kashmir based parties as well as top politicians of the state to raise the issue of Chenab Valley which though non-existent in reality is being made out to be something standing on the ground.

Recently, a top leader who lost Lok sabha elections is reported to have made statements about the aspirations of the people the Chenab Valley, and how the people from the area have been giving him love and affection. Not only this leader but a number of parties and politicians particularly those from Kashmir have been stoking the sentiments of the people of this region which has raised passions, and often incited communal violence in a region which has never seen such sentiments despite the fact that terrorism has had a strong presence in the hilly areas.

The idea of Chenab Valley in particular is supported by the votaries of Greater Kashmir ideology who believe that Muslim dominated parts of the state should be carved out into a large political and economic entity. The forces supporting this idea believe that if Jammu is divided, and the minority community put into a corner then it would be possible for the Kashmir based politicians to score over their rivals without making much effort. While the idea of dividing the region on religious lines is absurd but if an attempt is made it would be prepostrous as Muslim and Hindu populations in Kishtwar, Doda, Ramban and other areas are equally poised both numerically as well as economically. It is a sad state of affairs that politicians, and even those from so-called secular parties like Congress have been seeking votes by invoking divisive slogans, and supporting fundamentally wrong ideas of dividing the state on religious lines.

The issue assumes more significance on account of the fact that Congress, and NC both of which are facing strong anti-incumbency are trying to get votes in Muslim dominated constituencies of Jammu province as they know that BJP under Modi is likely to win in the plains of Jammu. The Congress in Jammu is likely to take extreme positions to ensure that it is able to win at least some seats to ensure that it remains a player in government formation. The BJP leaders however opine that the next government in J&K will be without the coalition partners, and they would not allow the people to be divided on religious lines.