Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti has said that the situation in Jammu & Kashmir is poised for a positive change as the people of the state have clear alternative available on the Political scenario. Addressing a workers convention at Kokernag she said the next elections will provide an opportunity to the people to assert their voice, empower themselves and enforce accountability on the political parties.
Mehbooba said the single track democracy traditionally practiced in Jammu & Kashmir was reduced to holding elections as a ritual to renew license to a single political party who would rule the roost without any checks and balances or oppositions of any kind. “It used to be a kind of dictatorship foisted on the people under the garb of which everything the state had from its political authority to its economic assets was battered away”, she said and asserted that we have had enough of such sham democracy. She said the emergence of PDP has introduced a much needed corrective in the democratic system which will ultimately benefit the people. She expressed the hope that people would take advantage of this situation and vote wisely in the next elections to hand down a decisive mandate on the basis of performance of various parties, their agenda and the credibility of their leadership.
The chief minister have lost moral and political authority to ask questions about any body’s integrity as he himself and his father both face serious charges which could have led anybody else to jail. A fair criminal investigation in Haji Yousuf case and the Rs 50 crore cricket association scam was thwarted and officers who helped the ruling family were rewarded. The feeling of impunity among ministers and their agents in administration is therefore understandable as they know there is nobody to call them to account.
Referring to the increasing unemployment problem Mehbooba said that the failure to create new avenues of employment was adversely effecting a whole generation of qualified and educated youth. She said even though government of India had made announcements about many schemes but the lack of a matching seriousness in followup had rendered them almost useless.
Mehbooba said it was painful that the process of building modern tourist infrastructure and opening up of new areas to tourists had come to a virtual standstill. She said the creation of two dozen tourism development authorities had initiated the process of exploring new and virgin areas to tourists throughout the state. In Verinag and Kokernag areas also two independent authorities were created which unfortunately failed to realise their potential for lack of follow up. “By now these areas could have developed into full fledged tourists hubs generating employment and economic benefits but for the failure of the present government to maintain their earlier pace of development” she said.
Mehbooba said the basic problem with the National Conference leadership was that it never felt accountable to the people for their rise to power. She said it is concerned only with its personal power and for that it has evolved a survival mechanism based on unprincipled tie ups, sell outs and compromises without in anyway promoting the interests of the state.