SRINAGAR: National Conference Chief Spokesperson Tanvir Sadiq on Saturday expressed disappointment at the apathy of the central government in restoring democracy in Jammu and Kashmir. Speaking to the media at the party headquarters Nawa-e-Subha, Tanvir said that the long-standing undemocratic rule has increased the hardships of the people.
“Recently, even the CEC had acknowledged the deepening void in J&K due to the lingering undemocratic rule. If he is aware of this fact, then why aren’t elections being held? They have been citing one excuse after another – first it was security, then it was weather, and then the run-up preparations for the election process. Now, when the weather is clear and the situation is admittedly normal, not holding the polls despite the ECI nod indicates that the BJP is afraid of the polls,” he said.
“We had an impression that the Election Commission doesn’t want to have polls in Jammu and Kashmir,” he added, saying, “When our representatives asked the Chief Election Commissioner why the ECI wasn’t holding the polls in J&K, the visiting delegation members were told that the commission has completed the delimitation exercise, the voter list is also prepared, polling booths are also identified, and election staff is also prepared, and that ECI is waiting for two things – weather and security clearance. It had made it clear to the delegation members that they were only waiting for weather and security. What holds them now from going with the exercise? Security, we are being told, has improved significantly, and the weather is clear.”
Sadiq contended that any further delay in the restoration of an elected legislator in J&K will make the democratic recovery of the beleaguered region unattainable. “The new model in place in Jammu and Kashmir is bereft of democratic moorings with no say of locals including Dogras, Kashmiris, Paharis, Gujjars in the decision-making process. Consequences of denying democratic rights to people would not augur well for the prized freedom, stability, and strength of our country. It will put the entire region on the path of terminal alienation,” he added.