Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Tuesday said Governor Satyapal Malik’s recent remark favoring a particular individual for the post of Mayor of Srinagar is shocking and puts a big question mark on the impartiality of the governor’s office.
In a joint statement senior leader and MLA Eidgah Mubarak Gul, Women’s Wing President Shameema Firdous, Central Secretary Irfan Shah, Provincial Vice President Muhammad Syed Akhoon and District President Srinagar Peer Afaq Ahmad said the ongoing election process is a smokescreen to hide the machinations of the governor’s office to throttle the democratic institutions in the state.
The statement read that the party isn’t against any person becoming the mayor but the way governor has unequivocally expressed his intentions, while talking to a private news channel, by hinting towards a particular individual before-hand for mayor’s post of Srinagar is what casts a shadow on the whole election process already mired in controversies and the rules of engagement as per the established norms.
Party leaders maintained that the councilors elected from various wards exercise their democratic right and elect a mayor after following the whole process as enshrined in the rule books. “There is already a big question mark on the fairness of ongoing ULB elections in the valley. Adding to the confusion, governor’s remarks reveal that he has no reverence for the due process of elections,” the statement said.
The statement further reads that the ongoing process has already gone farcical and proven to be a damp squib because of the scanty participation of people in its first phase in the valley and the sparse number of candidates contesting the polls. The recent remarks, the statement reads have made it very clear that the whole process of elections is rather a gimmick and that selection has already been done in the governor’s office.
The party leaders emphasized that the active indulgence of governor into the politics has demeaned the reputation of the office of governor.
“As has been the norm, a governor is supposed to work in an impartial manner and take everyone along but that is not happening. Instead, the office is being used to undermine the well-established institutions of the state. This is a sad state of affairs and will inevitably push the youth of the state towards hopelessness,” reads the statement.