Democracy in JK limited to elections: Mehbooba
‘State Has Become Hub Of Corruption, Crime’
Srinagar, Apr 25: Peoples Democratic Party chief, Mehbooba Mufti, Friday said the democracy in Jammu and Kashmir has been limited to conduct of polls with everybody celebrating the turnout.
“Though the people in Kashmir have time and again put their lives in risk to support the democratic process, they had always to face hopelessness. It is ironic that the people who empower the institutions by coming out to cast their vote are rendered powerless after the same elections,” Mehbooba said at a press conference here today.
Expressing “surprise” over the felicitation extended by the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to the state over the voter turnout in the ongoing Panchayat polls, Mehbooba said; “in 2008 the state registered more than 60 percent voting. That time also the leadership including (UPA chairperson) Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister felicitated us. Such things don’t happen in other states.”
Mehbooba said she had a mixed feeling when Prime Minister congratulated the people of the state for taking part in the Panchayat elections.
Mehbooba said by participating in the ongoing Panchayat polls, people have given another chance to democratic process and institutions, discredited after every election in the past.
“The issues that were there in the last summer when 117 persons were killed are still not addressed. While people have strengthened the democratic institutions, we have not come up to their expectations,” she said.
Mehbooba reminded that during the PDP-Congress every effort was made to maintain credibility of the democratic institutions so as to restore peoples’ faith in such institutions.
Attacking ruling National Conference, Mehbooba said since 1947 the party is engaged in process of disempowering state and its people.
“First they handed over our rivers, then power projects and now time is not far off that JK Bank will be nationalized. Nothing is now left with us,” she said.
ON DOGRA CERTIFICATE
Referring to Union Home Ministry’s intervention on the Dogra Certificate row, Mehbooba accused JK government of discrediting the state institutions by frequently rushing to New Delhi for “orders” on the matters which are well within its own jurisdiction.
She said the state institutions were being systematically discredited by the presebt dispensation and the government was being disempowered
“We were the first to raise voice on the issue (Dogra certificate) when Muzaffar Hussain Baig cautioned government against the move. The issue had come up during our tenure too but we rejected any such move then,” she said.
Expressing concern over “rampant corruption” in the state, Mehbooba said the state regretted that Jammu and Kashmir has become a hub of crime and corruption due to “the misgoverance of the present dispensation.”
She pointed out that the State Accountability Commission, which was constituted during the PDP-Congress regime to check corruption, has become defunct as government was not interested in making it functional.
She said the claims of the government to setup State Vigilance Commission also remained only on papers. “No concerted step has been taken to set up Vigilance Commission”, she said and added that despite appointment of the Information Commissioner, government has been adopting delaying tactics to appoint other members of the Commission to make the Right to Information Act fully functional in the State.
“The present government is deep necked involved in corruption as it has legitimized corrupt practices at the higher level,” she said.
PDP chief observed cash-for-vote scandal in which ruling party had managed votes of seven BJP MLAs in the Legislative Council elections was glaring example of the legitimization of corruption in the State. “There must be some deal between the National Conference and BJP MLAs because the former had not cast their votes in favour of coalition candidates without any consideration”, she equipped and regretted that the government has been brazenly indulging in such types of corrupt practices to undermine the credibility and respectability of the democratic institutions like Assembly.
She regretted that the present dispensation has discredited even the institutions like the state Public Service Commission. She also pointed out that government has also given re-employment to large number of officers/officials which was also a corrupt practice.
ON CIVILIAN KILLINGS
Referring to civilian killing by unidentified persons in the recent past, Mehbooba said the state, after one of the most corrupt states, is becoming “a hub of crime too.”
“In past 15 days six killings have taken place. Apart from Aasiya and Neelofar (victims of Shopian rape and murder case) 12 girls have been killed since the present government took over. Recently a youth each was killed in Ganderbal and Sopur, a woman in Pakherpora. Today a youth was killed in Varmul district. Apart from law and order duty police has now to look after the administrative work as well. The situation is turning worse day by day,” she alleged.
Coming down heavily on state government for “adopting oppressive measures to gag dissenting voices,” Mehbooba said this regime, since its formation, has been misusing state apparatus to stifle genuine aspirations and wishes of the people. “Instead of addressing grievance of the people, this regime usually threatens people to book them under draconian laws if they dare to highlight their grievances”, she pointed out and warned that such methods by the government would prove disastrous for the state.
PDP chief said that law and order situation in the entire State has been deteriorating because the police.
She alleged that the government was itself eroding the credibility of the institutions as seen in the case of teenager Faizan Rafiq Hakeem.
“The birth certificate to Faizan was issued by a state institution but the Chief Minister called it fake. It was only after the medical test proved him a minor that he was released,” she said.
ON BHAT’S APOLOGY
About the apology tendered by PDP MLA Nizam-ud-din to the chief minister Omar Abdullah over the allegations of kickback of Rs 500 crore received by the latter in awarding the Rattle power project, Mehbooba said if they (government) would have fought the case legally then it was alright. Asked was Bhat harassed by the government, she evaded a direct response: “I don’t want to talk about it. He will be harassed more.”
PDP leader and newly elected MLC Muhammad Ashraf Mir was also present at the press conference.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 25 Apr 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 25 Apr 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 26 Apr 2011 00:00:00 IST
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