by Yawar Hussain
Srinagar: The elected District Development Council (DDC) members of Budgam have been allegedly confined by distinct administration Budgam in hotel rooms in Srinagar since November last year when they had filed the nominations forms for the election they won on December 22, 2021.
The members are now mulling to resign if the government continues to confine them in single room accommodations in Srinagar.
“We were promised that we are going to be allowed to work on the grassroots for our people but the administration on the pretext of so-called inputs has confined us to these rooms,” DDC member Khag segment Maulvi Nisar told Kashmir Life.
“We have been held here against our will. Our families are suffering since we chose to become DDC members.”
“Kashmir is a place where these inputs have been around for the past three decades. The district administration doesn’t want the elected representatives of any party to be involved in development plans because they want no one to hold them accountable,” Nisar said.
He said barring two, all other elected DDC’s out of a total of 14 have been kept in Srinagar with occasional guided tours allowed when the “babus” in the administration wish.
“Our families have been ruined. We have lost our earlier livelihoods. The government hasn’t even paid our salaries,” Nisar said.
Seconding Nisar’s views, DDC member Pakherpora Maulvi Bashir said that this detainment and bar on doing what they have been elected to do is in itself evidence of what mockery the government has made of the whole hyped process.
Both Nisar and Bashir belong to two different political parties but are kept in the same hotel in Srinagar.
DDC Budgam Chairman Nazir Ahmad Khan said that even he wasn’t invited by the district administration Budgam in a recent meeting for planning in the district for which Principal Secretary Housing and Urban Development Department Dheeraj Gupta had come to the district.
“The administration is deliberately keeping our elected representatives.”
Khan said that no member has resigned till now but the government’s attitude towards the DDC members was “worrisome”.
He said salary was one thing but the official vehicle provided to him has no fuel.
“I told the concerned Deputy Commissioner that if their cars have fuel available then why they have been deprived,” he said.
Maulvi Bashir said the administration has confined the democracy to hotel rooms.
Meanwhile all the DDC members from Budgam Saturday met Advisor to Lieutenant Governor Baseer Ahmad Khan who said that he had no idea that the administration was treating them like this.
“He said that he had no idea that we were kept in Srinagar with no salary. He promised resolutions of the issue. We appeal to LG Manoj Sinha to personally solve our issue,” Khan said.
Earlier today a news agency had reported that the seven DDC members have resigned, the claim negated by the DDC Chairman Budgam stating that the viral video quoted by the news wire was old when some members in frustration had done so.
Reacting to the news, PDP President and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti tweeted, “Detaining DDC members from Budgam since seven months in the name of security defeats the purpose of their election. Held against their will, the administration has also prevented them from touring their constituencies. They are so fed up that they have offered to resign.”