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SRINAGAR

National Conference Wednesday lodged a protest in the Srinagar District Development Board Meeting that was chaired by the Chief Minister at SKICC. National Conference General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar stated that the PDP-BJP Government had come to power after “politicizing the natural calamity” that hit the State in September and had “tragically then gone on to abandon and disappoint” the same flood victims.

“Although PDP clearly and insensitively exploited the September floods for political gains, the party then went on to not only disappoint the flood victims but also humiliate and insult them. For you to say the flood victims should give you years to receive crucial succour and relief is an atrocious premise that shelter-less, impoverished and devastated victims of a natural calamity can wait for an eternity till an elected Government wakes up to its responsibilities. Your Government has not only sabotaged the Rs 44,000 Crore Flood Relief Package but has also been a part of the cruel joke that the Central Government played on the flood victims through its odd Rs 500 Crore flood relief package – an insulting amount which is also specified for Kuccha houses while as there are no Kuccha houses in Kashmir”, a party statement quoted Sagar as having said.

He also expressed disappointment at the paltry allocation of a mere Rs 100 Crore for all eight constituencies of Srinagar and said this was unarguably the worst case of discrimination against the State’s capital city and reeked of PDP’s established and tacit step-motherly treatment with Srinagar. “Not only has your Government failed to do justice with the developmental needs of Srinagar, but you have also demonstrated a very tragic and unfortunate streak of political vendetta by stopping work on all landmark developmental schemes and works that were initiated during the tenure of the Omar Abdullah Government. Mufti Sahab you are the Chief Minister of J&K now and not the Chief Minister of PDP or of BJP. It is your duty to dispense your duties towards the people of this State without any political bias, favouritism or partisanship – but it is highly unfortunate that you have failed to do so – and the discrimination with Srinagar for instance is a prime example of this approach”, Sagar said.

The NC General Secretary lashed out at the PDP-BJP Government for their injustice with the traders’ community, the employees’ fraternity and with the youth of this State. “It is not National Conference which says that this Government has been an enormous disappointment but this is the verdict of traders’ organizations, employees’ fraternity and the youth of this State who have been given the gift of a flawed, anti-youth and illogical recruitment policy by your Government in its first leg in power. Mufti Sahab I hope you remember your visit to Lal Chowk and your promises to the flood affected traders. Not only did you break all these promises but your Government also baton-charged and dragged these respectable traders on our roads when they protested against your Government’s insensitivity and inaction. All your pre-election posturing and rhetoric when it comes to the demands of the employees has turned out to be hollow. As far as the youth are concerned – all your Government has given them thus far is instability, chaos and uncertainty about their future – which is a sad conclusion to your party’s moralistic lectures and sermons before it came to power,” he further said.

“We were led to believe by your Finance Minister and by your party that he would end the misery of the flood victims and bring the State back on track to fiscal health and routine within 45 days of taking over. Today it is a fact that your Finance Minister is being publicly criticized for his role in sabotaging the Rs 44,000 Crore flood relief package by your own legislators, Ministers and Members of Parliament. The Deputy Chief Minister of this Government publicly said that odd Rs 3,000 Crore was ‘enough’ and ‘adequate’ for flood victim rehabilitation and reconstruction of public and private infrastructure. There are hourly contradictions between the statements of your Ministers regarding the flood relief situation and while this drama of contradictions is being enacted, Srinagar which was hardest hit by the September Floods has been let down,” he said.

“Your own Cabinet Minister has publicly said that there was open discrimination against the Muslims of Jammu. Was that not enough of an indictment of your Government’s failures Mufti Sahab? As has become a routine now, you have adopted the cloak of silence over all critical issues that concern the people of the State. The normality and peace in the State stand threatened because of inherent contradictions within this Government and because of contradictory statements issued by your Ministers. The writ of the State Government is highly questionable today and there is unprecedented political interference into the working of the Administration. Your MLAs have crossed all limits in politicizing the meagre and paltry flood relief cheques that are being issued through them. Same individuals are being paid five times over through accounts in five different banks while genuine victims continue to suffer because of your Government’s total and complete failure,” Sagar added.

Asking the administration to wake up from its slumber and rise to the challenges of post-flood reconstruction of infrastructure in Srinagar, the NC General Secretary asked the Government to immediately start the restoration of all choked drains, dilapidated roads and defunct street lights in the city – deficiencies on account of which people are suffering.

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