Every election has its share of former bureaucrats and policemen trying their luck at the electoral roulette. The Jammu and Kashmir assembly polls, which kick off on November 25, are no different – except the proportion of former government servants in the fray appears higher.

Twelve candidates ex- bureaucrats and policemen are contesting in the five-phase election that ends on December 20. Nearly every party has fielded one or more of them.

The Peoples Democratic Party has fielded former commissioner secretary Mehboob Iqbal against veteran Congressman Ghulam Nabi Azad in Baderwah constituency, former commissioner secretary Bashir Ahmad Roniyal in Banihal, and retired inspector general Raza Aijaz Ali in Uri. Showing initiative, Ali has been fervently campaigning as much on social media as on the streets.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has named former revenue officer Aziz Munshi (son of former National Conference leader Munshi Habibullah) as its candidate from Kargil, and former inspector general Farooq Khan as its nominee from Jammu East constituency.

New and old

Former cops appear to be everyone’s favourite. The Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference, led by Sajjad Lone, has picked former deputy superintendent of police Khurshid Khan as one of its candidates, while the Congress has fielded retired additional deputy commissioner, Bashir Ahmad Mangwal, as its contender in Langate constituency. Mangwal is up against former block development officer Wali Mohammad, who is contesting on a National Conference ticket.

Political parties are not the only ones fielding former bureaucrats. Farooq Renzu, former vice chairman of Srinagar Development Authority, has formed his own party called Kashmir Development Front after quitting the Congress. According to local news reports, Renzu’s party will contest on all 10 assembly seats falling in the Lok Sabha constituency of Srinagar.