National Conference on Tuesday asserted that the government's Back to Village (B2V) programme was "mere eyewash" which has failed in addressing and assessing specific economic potential and needs of the villages.
While interacting with scores of delegations at party headquarters here, the party General Secretary, Ali Muhammad Sagar said the party was not against development and that the inclusive, participatory and sustainable development has all along been the core of the party's agenda.
He said the ongoing B2V exercise was illusionary that has failed to enthuse people and give anticipated results.
He said the B2V exercise far from taking administration to the doorsteps, disturbed the district administration already working in the field.
"Unfortunately, there has been no follow up to earlier B2V exercises which has rendered this new phase of B2V a sheer mockery. Non-observance of the official commitments in the previous two rounds of B2V is widening the trust-deficit between people and the officials. The absence of a robust redressal mechanism has rendered the entire exercise ineffective," he said.
Sagar said the exercise was being carried out to give a false impression that the government was alive to the needs of common people, while ground realities were different.
"The prime objective of the exercise is to divert the attention from real issues. The common people continue to suffer on account of administrative apathy, governance deficit and administrative inertia. Far from bridging the gap between people and government, the B2V programme is sadly increasing the gulf between governed and those who are governing," said Sagar.
He said people were being told to seek online appointments before visiting secretariat for redressal of their problems when many do not have access to the internet and were not literate enough to access emails.
"What are such people supposed to do? Who is going to address their issues?" said Sagar.
He said the government has miserably failed to uplift the rural economy of Kashmir which has been suffering on account of weather vagaries and successive clampdown and COVID lockdown since 2019.
Extolling the role of then government led by Omar Abdullah in strengthening governance at grassroots level, Sagar said it was during the previous NC-led government that peacefull Panchayat elections were held which witnessed a massive voter turnout in 2011.
He said the failed official spectacle of B2V neither empowered the Panchayats nor captured the specific economic potential of villages.