As the poll fever starts gripping the Valley of Kashmir, a number of civil servants have been contesting the forthcoming assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
Two former commissioner secretaries, a retired IG of police and three officers who headed government departments...are among a dozen or so former government officials who are contesting the Jammu and Kashmir polls.
Raja Aijaz Ali, retired as IG (Crime), is contesting as PDP candidate from Uri. He has been camping in Uri for the past 10 months.
“I have entered politics for unemployed youth in my area, one of the most backward in Kashmir. I want them to fight for their rights,” says Ali. Ali is quite active in social media and uses it to interact with young voters.
Farooq Khan, former IG who joined the BJP in March, will try his luck from Jammu.
In Rafiabad, People’s Conference has fielded Khurshid Khan, a former deputy SP who has taken voluntary retirement.
Former commissioner secretary (PHE) Mehboob Iqbal is PDP candidate from Baderwah.
“Since the constituency is Ghulam Nabi Azad’s hometown, many think it is a developed area, but that is not true. People here have more problems than those in other parts of the state,’’ says Iqbal, according to media reports.
The Congress and the National Conference have digged Iqbal’s alleged involvement in the Gulmarg land scandal.
Bashir Ahmad Roniyal, another former commissioner secretary, is contesting as a PDP candidate from Banihal.
Former vice chairman, Srinagar Development Authority, Farooq Renzu has formed his own Kashmir Development Front, and plans to field 10 candidates.
Saraf Singh, 41, a Kashmir Administrative Services officer who resigned in September as head of the treasury department, is an Independent candidate from Reasi. Singh has been telling everyone that his area has been the most backward in entire Jammu area, and he has joined politics to highlight the problems.
The newly formed Awami Ithehad Party has fielded former deputy commissioner and director of land records Abdul Rashid Dar from Tral in south Kashmir.
The polls are being held in phases between November 25 and December 20, 2014.
So, it will be interesting to see whether the former babus could put up a brave fight in the elections, which is quite different from the excel sheet and pen-pushing jobs.