Grassroots Democracy Flourishing In J&K First Time In Seven Decades, People Tasting Real Autonomy, Self-Rule: Dr Jitendra Singh

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SRINAGAR: Senior BJP leader and Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dr Jitendera Singh Monday said far from the hollow slogans of regional parties, people of J&K are first time witnessing the grassroots democracy flourishing in the form of Panchayati Raj System and common masses of J&K are tasting the real self-rule and autonomy after a gap of 73 years.

BJP’s DDC Candidates wife presenting traditional Kashmiri Samovar to MOS PMO Dr Jitendra Singh in south Kashmir’s Anantnag on Monday, November 30, 2020. KL Image by Shah Hilal

He said that the only issue with Pakistan is the resolution of passed in the Parliament in 1994 that states, other parts of Kashmir under Pakistan is under the illegal control and needs to be retrieved. Addressing a press conference here, Dr Singh said that it was for the first time that grassroots democracy was seeing the light of the day in J&K after a gap of 73 years. “For the past over 50 years, regional parties have been beating the drums of autonomy and self-rule.

Basically, they wanted autonomy and self-rule for themselves by winning elections with just 10 per cent voting while common people of Kashmir were always befooled over hollow slogans,” Dr Jitendera said as per news agency KNO.

The DDC elections, the phase two of which is going to be held tomorrow, is basically a pledge of Prime Minister Narendra Modi towards people of J&K to realize the real meaning of democracy at the grassroots level. “I would say that this is the beginning of a new chapter in the history of democracy in Kashmir,” the top BJP leader said, adding that the ensuing elections is also a chance for the introspection of people of J&K. “People will not enjoy the rule of the self not self-rule of politicians,” he said.

He said that in the first phase of polling where over 50 per cent voting was recorded, the percentage is much higher than the previous Lok Sabha elections.  “In Lok Sabha elections, people had got disillusioned and their aspirations were also disillusioned.

Politicians managed to win in just 10 per cent polling and entered in the Parliament,” Dr Jitendera said. “Today’s elections are an aspirational outlet, through local self-governance and it’s a reflection of peoples’ enthusiasm.”

He said if local politicians who have been beating the drums over the revocation of Article 370 were so outraged, they should have simply resigned from the Parliament. “Why they didn’t do it and go back to the people with the same issue. Instead, they decided to sit in Parliament and enjoy perks.

Three National Conference MPs and two from the PDP were present in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha when the announcement of the scrapping of Article 370 and 35 A was made,” he said, adding that “all remained silent and didn’t raise voice then.”

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