With the worst ever floods striking Jammu and Kashmir in the recent past, the mainstream camp here remains divided over the conduction of elections slated for the end of this year.
The state Congress wants elections to be conducted on due date with its senior leader remarking that the party is ready to face people at present while as its coalition partner national conference wants continuity of the government till April.
Talking to KNS, senior Congress leader and a cabinet minister Taj Mohi-ud-Din stated that Congress party is ready to face people and that elections must be conducted on due date. Taj remarked that the relief and rehabilitation measures being taken by the government at present shall be completed before the implementation of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) in the state of Jammu and Kashmir as the administration should work round the clock tirelessly so that to complete the rehabilitation activity. “Elections are like examinations for us. If we work hard at present, its effects shall be seen in future. If the elections are delayed, political parties would go in slumber. If elections are slated on due date, everyone will work tirelessly,” Taj said.
Meanwhile, national conference stressed for the need that government should continue to function till April so that the winter months could be passed and elections are conducted in amicable way. “We can say that the government should continue to function till the winter months are over. At present, the state is in the midst of the devastation caused by the recent floods,” said additional general secretary national conference Dr Shiekh Mustafa Kamal.
He added that the provision of the state constitution could be exercised wherein interim government could be allowed to function in Jammu and Kashmir till the conduction of elections in the month of April. “The main objective of elections is that everyone should be allowed to exercise the right of a voter and at present that purpose would not be served as the state is not in the condition at present,” remarked Kamal.
Opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party while giving wide berth to the election process stated that the party at present has no time to even think of the elections. “We don’t talk about elections at present, we don’t even think about that process as the state is in the midst of the worst ever catastrophic situation. There are thousands of people who are being compelled to spend time along with their children under open sky. The government thinks that by giving blankets and bananas to the people could make it victorious but the situation on ground is truly perturbing,” said PDP chief spokesman Naeem Akhtar.
Akhtar added that the serious epidemic threat is looming large and government’s failure is visible on ground.
Peoples’ Conference chairman Sajad Gani Lone told KNS that no step at present should be taken at present that could hinder relief and rehabilitation process in the flood torn Jammu and Kashmir. Sajad stated that if polls in Jammu and Kashmir are announced, MCC imposition is inevitable which could affect the rehabilitation process badly. “I don’t think the state at present is in the condition to hold elections. I think first priority should be the relief and rehabilitation measures.”
Awami Muthida Mahaz (AMM) when contacted remarked that the administration must prioritize its efforts in relief and rehabilitation works and that under the condition interim government can function in the state till rehabilitation measures are accompanished. “Here the issues related to relief are being raised with the high pitch by the masses of the state. I think priorities should be given to it first,” senior AMM leader and PDF chairman Hakeem Mohammad Yasin said.
DPN chairman and cabinet minister Ghulam Hassan Mir stated that relief and rehabilitation of the flood hit areas of Jammu and Kashmir must be given priority and that speedy measures should be taken to provide helping hand to the victims at an earliest. “We demand that relief and rehabilitation process must be given top priority and then only the issue of elections could be discussed,” Mir said.