KL NEWS NETWORK
National Conference on Thursday lashed out at the PDP-BJP Alliance in the State for “dishonouring democracy and democratic institutions” in J&K by subverting elected representatives and thereby trivializing the representative character of the legislative assembly.
In a joint statement issued from party headquarters in Srinagar, National Conference legislators from South Kashmir – Altaf Ahmed Kaloo, Abdul Majid Larmi, Dr Bashir Ahmed Veeri and Showkat Hussain Ganai condemned the “brazen” disrespect shown by the PDP-BJP Alliance and both Union and State Governments by not inviting the local elected representative from Homshalibugh for the inauguration of new trains in the State at the Islamabad Railway Station that falls in his constituency.
The National Conference legislators also asked the Union Government and particularly the Union Railway Minister to clarify in what official or constitutional capacity PDP General Secretary Sartaj Madni’s name was included in the newspaper advertisements as the ‘Guest of Honour’ by the Railway Ministry for the particular inauguration.
“While the local elected representative was not invited for an inauguration in his constituency, the PDP General Secretary who holds no official or constitutional position besides being the privileged Uncle of the Chief Minister was included in the advertisements placed by the Railway Ministry in various newspapers. This is yet another attempt to dishonour the representative character of the legislative assembly and discredit the mandate of the local electorate in various constituencies to appease PDP. This is not the first instance where the PDP-BJP Alliance has shown its contempt towards elected representatives by trying to foist its own defeated candidates over the legitimate, democratic representatives of the people,” NC legislators from South Kashmir said in the joint statement.
“Demeaning the institutions of democracy in a State like J&K where democracy has been nurtured and revitalized after years of turmoil and disruption doesn’t auger well for the future of the State and the overarching pursuits of peace, reconciliation and prosperity. Rather than sidestepping elected representatives of our party, the PDP-BJP Alliance should see the writing on the wall and acknowledge the tremendous resentment against this opportunistic alliance across the length and breadth of the State. The State as well as the Central Government should weigh the risks of dishonouring democracy in J&K and draw lessons from a history that has witnessed the subversion of democratic institutions and popular elected representatives at a grave cost to the State and the interests of its people,” the NC legislators said.
The NC Legislators said this “characteristic insecurity” of the PDP-BJP Government was now a predictable and almost official mode of operation in various constituencies of the State where opposition MLAs were being sidestepped.
“This has happened in Pahalgam Constituency in South Kashmir multiple times in the past where former Chief Minister Late Mufti Sayeed had taken the defeated candidate from PDP on official tours of the constituency while the local MLA hadn’t been invited. This has happened in other constituencies as well with elected representatives from opposition parties. The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly should demonstrate unquestionable objectivity in line with the highest conventions of the legislative assembly and take strong notice of this unacceptable behaviour by the PDP-BJP Government. The onus lies on the Speaker to uphold the dignity and integrity of the Legislative Assembly without any political bias or prejudice,” the NC leaders added.
“It is evident that BJP is walking the extra mile and subverting democracy in J&K to appease its ally, the PDP. In an apparent quid-pro-quo arrangement for BJP’s patronization of such acts that dishonour democratic institutions in the State, PDP is reciprocating by being the tactical ideological associate of RSS and BJP in Kashmir. PDP has clearly sold its ideology and conscience to the BJP to ensure that first Late Mufti Sahab and then Mehbooba Mufti became the Chief Minister and in return BJP is appeasing PDP by foisting PDP’s defeated candidates over elected representatives in the State,” the NC joint statement added.