Srinagar, 26 Oct: The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Party Vice President Omar Abdullah on Thursday castigated the central government for its failure to restore democracy in J&K saying the country takes pride in calling itself the mother of democracy on global stages but the same democracy fails to reach Jammu and Kashmir.
He said this while addressing a one day delegate session at Surankote in Poonch. The session was convened by senior party leader Javed Rana. Among others Party General Secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar, Senior leader Mian Altaf Ahmad, Additional General Secretary Ajay Kumar Sadhotra, Provincial President Jammu Rattan Lal Gupta, party leader Abdul Gani Malik, YNC Provincial President Jammu Aijaz Jan, DDC Chairman Rajouri Choudhary Naseem Liyaqat, Additional Spokespersons Zeeshan Rana and Th. Yashu Rachpal Singh were present on the occasion.
Decrying lack of democracy in J&K, Omar said the entire region is witnessing its worst phases in the absence of a democratic government. “It has been nearly a decade since the Assembly elections were held last time in 2014. People across J&K are united in their quest to restore democracy but those at the helm are not ready to reflect upon the gravity of the situation,” he said.
Calling out the anti-people policies of the incumbent bureaucratic setup, Omar lamented persecution of people in the name of hiked electricity bills, toll taxes, inflation, and ration curtailment. “PDD first brought in digital meters. It had not been even a few days since these digital meters were replaced by smart meters. The question arises why digital meters were installed in the first place? Who will account for the crores of rupees spent on them? The water tariff increases every year but there is a dire need for drinking water everywhere. Roads everywhere are in bad condition. The work of opening the road to Surankote has been going on for years and the government is not showing any seriousness in completing it. The only thing the government is proud of is to have opened wine shops in every corner of J&K,” he said.
Criticizing the government’s slack attitude on conducting elections in Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah said that the people of New Delhi say that India is the mother of democracy, but what happens to the mother’s love as soon as they come to Jammu and Kashmir. He said that the last time elections were held here in 2014, it has been 9 years since then. “I do not understand why Jammu and Kashmir is being deprived of elections. People have the right to choose their government. It is clear that those who walk with a big chest of BJP are scared from inside and are not ready to face the people and after the results of Kargil elections, this fear must have increased,” he said.
Taking on the incumbent administration on the issue of rampant corruption, Omar said that corruption has become so entrenched in the administration that the government’s own senior officials are alleging embezzlement of crores of rupees. Unfortunately these allegations are not being investigated, he added.
Taking a pot shot at the government, he said investigative agencies are only meant to harass political parties. “Is it only mandated to raid the houses of those who oppose the BJP?” He said that the cases of scams of thousands of crores by the Jammu and Kashmir government are being brushed under the carpet.
The NC Vice President said that the incumbent administration has not failed on one front only, which is in creating a record of failure and incompetence at every level. “Look at the state of government employees today, they are unable to withdraw their GP fund. Government employees who were happy about J&K becoming UTs are today struggling to withdraw GP funds for their children’s marriages and other emergencies. The situation of daily wage earners is no different, the deprived lot is being treated with hollow promises and lip service,” he said.
Omar Abdullah further said, “During my government, the work of regularization of daily wagers was started and we formed a cabinet sub-committee to find out the number of daily wagers working in all departments. Daily Wagers were identified thereby. We decided that we would work out a plan to make these Daily Wagers permanent. But as they say man supposed, god disposes. We couldn’t do it. We had to face the deluge of 2014 following which the elections were forced on us. However I assure you that as and when NC forms the govt all the 60,000 daily wagers will be regularised.”
Former judge and senior leader of the National Conference, Advocate Muzaffar Iqbal Khan expressed confidence in the party’s ability to restore Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood status if it comes to power. He reasserted the party’s commitment to vigorously fight for the reinstatement of Article 370 and 35A, as these constitutional provisions hold great significance for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Advocate Naseem Layakat, echoed the sentiments expressed by Omar Abdullah and Advocate Muzaffar Iqbal Khan.
Earlier Party VP made a brief stopover at Herpora, where he offered condolences with In Charge Shopian Sheikh Muhammad Rafi on the demise of his mother-in-law. Party Leaders including Provincial VP Dr Bashir Veeri, South Zone President Syed Tauqeer, District Presidents Altaf Ahmad Wani, Showkat Hussain, Gh Mohiudin Mir were also present.
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