PDP patron, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Sunday alleged ruling National Conference of using election boycott call of separatists for its benefit during the recently held Lok Sabha elections in the South Kashmir.
“Boycott was selectively enforced in Islamabad Parliamentary constituency, giving credence to the apprehensions that NC wanted to use the call for its benefit as it had done in Srinagar in last elections,” Mufti said in a press Conference.
He added that this time the experiment of stone throwing was implemented in villages as well. “While we uphold the right to call for a boycott but I believe using violence to enforce it is where the government’s role becomes suspect,” Mufti said adding, “The ‘rigging by other means’ has now got a structure for execution and that is a worrying trend for the future of this place and I want to share my concern with you and all those who have a stake in democratic system that it has happened at the end of the NC Congress rule is neither new nor unexpected.”
He said the people of South Kashmir have defeated the “diabolical plan” of the NC to allow only the ruling coalition voters to exercise their franchise.
“Though they were able to employ stone throwing in areas where PDP is having a unilateral sway and prevent voting there, but in other areas which they thought were their strongholds, people have voted for our party in large numbers and results will establish that,” Mufti said. He added, “We thank them (people) for reposing their trust in us in spite of their party affiliations.”
“I am deeply worried that NC congress coalition has not learned any lessons and for securing victory in elections they are still practicing old tactics that have devastated this state for two and a half decades. In 1987 it was the same combination that pushed prominent veterans of democratic system who till then believed in the electoral democracy out of the system. This was recently stated by none other than Syed Salahuddin whose transformation from Mohammad Yousuf Shah a candidate in Assembly elections is a constant and painful reminder of how NC Congress combine could stake everything for power, Mufti said.
He added that a generation of well intentioned young people too was not just denied entry into electoral system but was even punished for having ventured to do that.
“We have very painstakingly tried to rebuild the confidence of the people in democratic option. You are aware how the youth are once again looking up to democratic competition as a way out of our problems. But their worries are mounting that NC could try to repeat the plan in Srinagar and Baramulla constituencies as well,” Mufti alleged.
He said that the massive effort that had gone into creating a new atmosphere of peace, reconciliation and resolution in and around J&K seems at the real risk of going waste due to the “violent machinations” of NC.
“The Election Commission of India (ECI) has a special responsibility towards J&K because of the electoral history of this place and impact of any misadventures on the state and entire region,” Mufti said adding, “unfortunately the (ECI) has so far not conveying an impression that they are even monitoring elections in J&K. There have been blatant violations of Model Code of Conduct which have been reported in media and should have been sou-motto taken not of by the ECI.”
“We complained but without even a response. Dr Farooq’s open threat to use bombs and bullets against us or use of official machinery and invoking of religion, all have gone unnoticed,” Mufti said.
Cautioning against what he called repetition of 1987, Mufti said, “I am through you cautioning against a repetition of 1987 for which we are still paying a heavy price.”
“The failure of their South Kashmir experiment has made the ruling dispensation even more frustrated. And in view of the fact that NC is making a desperate bid to retain Srinagar in the face of unprecedented anger against it we have apprehensions that they might try to cross even the red lines that were spared in their previous subversion of the system that included the 1952 elections that remains distinct for being the only one in which even a single ballot was not cast, Mufti said.