At a time when the urban and Panchayat elections in Kashmir are expected to be a no-show in the wake of acid attack threats to candidates, increased attacks on security forces among many fear factors, a few candidates are making their presence felt.

A surrendered militant turned BJP contestant

Farooq Ahmad Khan, a middle-aged man and a former militant who had earlier surrendered under the rehabilitation policy of 2010 announced by the then Omar Abdullah led government, is contesting on a BJP ticket from one of the wards in downtown Srinagar.

At a time, when BJP has failed to establish its stronghold in Kashmir, contesting on the right wing party's ticket is likely to be frowned upon by many.

But Khan has reportedly said that he has long shunned the path of violence and has since faced the poverty among many hardships in life and that he has now decided to work for the welfare of people amid life risks.

A young journalist and his family

Touseef Raina, a man in his 20s donning many hats including that of a social worker, a journalist and an orator, Raina is contesting for the post of a councilor from one of the wards in North Kashmir's Baramulla district. Infact, Raina's mother and brother have also decided to contest from other wards of Baramulla as independent candidates.

Raina and his family believe that participation in these elections will help them connect with the people at the ground level and work for the development of North Kashmir which has been neglected by the leaders.

A former Omar Abdullah aide and NC spokesperson

Junaid Mattu, who had become synonymous with the National Conference over past several years and was one of the closest aides of Former Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah recently decided to break away from the party and contest the municipal elections from Srinagar for the post of Mayor.

Mattu in a series of tweets said that he is against the boycotting of polls and that made him quit the party.

In veiled attacks carried out on mainstream parties including NC, PDP, Mattu recently said that the candidates who have decided to participate in the local body polls are facing intimidation from the mainstream parties and not separatists.

Junaid Azim Mattu
A file picture of the youth leader, Junaid Azim MattuFacebook