Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office, Dr. Jitendra Singh, on Monday said that District Development Council polls were the real Self-Rule and Autonomy for people of Jammu and Kashmir. “These DDC polls reveal the real and true meaning of Self-Rule and Autonomy,” Dr Singh told reporters here. “The two slogans (Self-Rule, Autonomy) with which the Kashmir centric political parties had for decades bluffed the electorate only to promote their family rule.”
“It is for the first time that grassroots democracy is seeing light of the day in J&K after a gap of 73 years. For over 50 years, regional parties have been beating the drums of autonomy and self-rule”, Dr Singh said.
“Self-rule should arise from the grassroots. It should not mean the rule of self, the same family ruling for three generations was called self-rule,” he said adding that for the first time in Kashmir, history has been made. “Self-rule and autonomy have come. The parties that promised us self-rule and autonomy for 40 years have failed and the party that they had been criticising fulfilled their agenda.”
Brushing aside the accusation by Gupkar Alliance leaders that BJP was uncomfortable because of their decision to participate in the election, Dr Singh said they believe in democracy and anybody or everybody can come forward to test his fortunes in the election.
He expressed confidence that on the day of counting of votes, people will send the signal to convey to the whole world that they stand with Bharatiya Janata Party because this is a party which believes in the rule of the masses and not of dynasty.
Dr Singh said high voter turnout during DDC election in comparison to dismal voter turnout in the Lok Sabha election last year is indicative of the fact that people were disillusioned with the dynastic candidates put up in the Parliament and Assembly elections but they have huge enthusiasm for the candidates from amongst them contesting the DDC elections.
When asked to comment on the allegations of the regional parties that they were not allowed to campaign freely as compared to the BJP, Singh said: “BJP workers have made their presence felt through active campaigning. Let them come out with concrete evidence and present the same before the Election Commission. The Election Commission will take action.”
Dr. Jitendra Singh was asked to respond to Mehbooba Mufti’s comments that the voter turnout in DDC elections was for electricity and water and not an endorsement of Article 370 abrogation, he retorted by saying that she is saying so because she does not wish to give credit to the people for their enthusiastic participation in the polling.