The prevailing political inactivity has exposed the Kashmir-centric leaders to a large extent. Although majority of the detained political leaders have been released from the house detention but the mainstream leaders are still confined to houses. This move of the Union Government has exposed and isolated these mainstream leaders. Hardly there is any voice which is seeking their release and whatever is heard in public domain is just symbolic ones. Since August 5 last after the abrogation of Article 370 there has been a total void on the political activity in the newly reorganized Union Territory due to the imprisonment of top political leaders, including former three chief ministers which to a large extent is seen as ‘preventive custody’. This has also helped in maintaining the most vital peace in the region and there has been no death of any civilian from security forces firing. Politically also there is a perception that these leaders have been the root cause of creating trouble in the Valley in the erstwhile state. Security agencies had firm inputs to GoI about them fomenting trouble after the abrogation of Article 370. The degree of success from parliamentary elections to Urban Local Bodies, Panchayats and BDC have fully exposed the nefarious game-plan of regional political parties as well as that of Congress. The administrative, constitutional and legal changes announced on August 5, are nothing but a political solution to solve the vexed ‘political problem’ of Jammu and Kashmir. The astronomical amount of money spent in J&K made a big dent on poverty – according to a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) estimate, just over 10 per cent people were living below the poverty line in 2011-12. What held, nay pulled, back the state was its political system and the restrictions and disincentives imposed on trade, industry, investment and entrepreneurship. At least in theory, and perhaps to the extent of political rhetoric, the political, constitutional and legal changes ushered in should address the development issues. But as said earlier, it is about the politics and economics is only a concomitant, or collateral.
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