Srinagar, Nov 10: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed has said the state has completely fallen into the stranglehold of vested interests that is engaged in brazen loot of public exchequer and national wealth. The former Chief Minister said the present government had created a corruption-friendly system and through its brazen actions it had left no one in doubt about its intentions.
Addressing a workers’ convention in Parnewa, Kremshor of Khansahib constituency in Budgam district today, he said the situation cannot be retrieved under the present dispensation as it has deliberately subverted institutions of vigilance, transparency and probity.
Mufti said the PDP would launch a war against corruption in public life and start with enforcing accountability in high places whenever it got a chance with the support of the people. He said it was to cover up the loot and brazen corruption by its members that the present government had subverted the institutions like State Accountability Commission (SAC), State Vigilance Commission (SVC), State Information Commission (SIC) and the Vigilance department and there was a free-for-all in selling everything that had anything to do with the government. Jobs, tenders, money from treasuries, postings and transfers, certificates and mandates, everything is on sale, he said.
Declaring that PDP would provide an independent anti-corruption mechanism which could not be compromised or subverted by any government, Mufti said the SAC had been envisaged to be the equivalent of the Lokpal that rest of the country was still making an effort to constitute. But in absence of an independent investigation arm and ability of the government to provide support to it, the institution had lost its relevance with action on most of the cases taken up by it halted through judicial intervention over technical niceties, he said. He said it was sad that instead of offering himself for probe, the Chief Minister had led the process of trivialization of SAC by going to court challenging its jurisdiction. “His colleagues have taken the same route to escape law,” he said.
Mufti said the state would have been one of the most developed parts of the country if corruption had not been promoted here almost as a state policy. He said it was a cause of concern that while in rest of the country a strong movement has been launched against this menace, in Jammu & Kashmir the people seemed to be by and large unconcerned by it even though it is not someone else’s money that is being pocketed by the unscrupulous elements in the administration but the money that was to be used for building infrastructure, roads, hospitals, schools and providing help to the needy and the poor.
He said people must understand the value of electing the right persons who they feel can deliver good governance without indulging in bad practices. He said it was clear that in absence of a common program for governance, the coalition-led by National Conference had become a coalition of corruption and loot while the common people suffered complete neglect.
He said the latest instance of the coalition coordination about a House Committee and the way it is sought to be subverted is enough evidence that this government can stoop to any level to prevent law from taking its course. The PDP patron said the present government has neither the will nor the moral strength to fight corruption as its leading lights are facing serious charges like the mysterious death of Haji Yousuf and the Cricket Association scandal involving crores of rupees.
He said it was unfortunate that the institutions of the state had been converted into hand maidens of ruling politicians which had eroded people’s faith in them. “Some people had been treated as the holy cows whose misdemeanor never came in for an audit as a result of which entire democratic system had suffered in the state,” Mufti said adding the PDP wanted to change this situation and needed public support for it.
Expressing concern at the growing miseries of people on account of problems like power and cooking gas, Mufti said it was a direct result of the inefficiency and political compromises made by the National Conference on the state’s resources. He said given the miseries faced by people of J&K, it would easily qualify for the most misgoverned state of the country. “Nowhere in the country would one have to stay in queue for commodities like gas and kerosene,” he said and added that a decent living was a fundamental right of the people which had been denied to them in this state. He said the government was treating people as cattle and this insult and humiliation of human beings was something unacceptable to PDP and was therefore seeking a total change in system.
Senior party leader and party general secretary Muhammad Dillawar Mir, senior leader and former Legislative Council Chairman Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura, district president Budgam Saifudin Bhat and zone president Bashir Ahmad also spoke on the occasion.
Muhammad Dillawar Mir blamed the government for present power situation in the valley and said that while the entire coalition government is responsible for the crisis faced by the people, the power disaster can squarely be attributed to the Chief Minister who has been heading the department for the last four years.
Recalling the ‘vast improvement’ registered in power supply by the previous coalition, he said only a thoroughly corrupt, inefficient and insensitive government like the present one could have achieved such a disastrous reversal. He said while anywhere in world the systemic improvement brought in by the previous government would have been used as an opportunity for further development, the present government dismantled everything good that had been achieved painstakingly by its predecessor.