Poll Fever Grips Kashmir Valley, Coalition-PDP On Cross Swords

Poll Fever Grips Kashmir Valley, Coalition-PDP On Cross Swords

25 November 2012
The Daily Pioneer
Khurshid Wani

Srinagar: A battle of sorts has begun in Kashmir between the ruling coalition and the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in run up to the election to four Legislative Council seats reserved to represent panchayat members. While the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and JKPCC President Saifuddin Soz are jointly campaigning on the premise of continuing the coalition beyond 2014 elections, the PDP’s Mufti Muhammad Sayeed and Mehbooba Mufti are counting the coalition’s follies and asking the people to fight the “anti-J&K coalition” tooth and nail. On Sunday Omar Abdullah addressed Panchayat members in north Kashmir’s Kupwara, Handwara and Langate pockets to continue his scathing attacks on the PDP. “For the sake of gaining power, they (PDP) can go to any extent, circulate hatred, wage apart the society, use even people’s miseries and even gun culture simultaneously to put the state on fire”, he said. “They (PDP leadership) are presently shedding crocodile tears to pretend that they have concern for Panchayats, when actually they opposed tooth and nail holding of Panchayat Elections in the State raising different speculations and advocating various reasons”. “This party’s (PDP) report card is so dim and dark and full of anti-people commissions and omissions, that they feel embarrassed when look towards it as such indulge in blame game and false propaganda”, he said and asked Panches and Sarpanches to vote in favour of NC-Congress joint candidates to help flourish Panchayat Raj in the State and empowerment of Panches and Sarpanches. The PDP patron and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was campaigning in the nearby Rafiabad constituency and counting the coalition’s failures. He said the incompetence of political leadership was responsible for alleged mis-governance in the state. “Jammu and Kashmir has reached to a level where the administration in absence of a pro-people political direction has failed even in providing basic amenities like electricity, cooking gas, safe drinking water, roads and ration to the people”, he said. “It is the lust for power that National Conference has never reached out or identified itself with the common masses whose miseries have witnessed a manifold increase since 2009,” Mufti remarked. Mufti observed that during the last nearly four years the present regime has eroded and undermined all prestigious democratic institutions, be it Assembly, local bodies or Panchayati Raj Institutions. Another PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Beigh said the present coalition government has completely failed to reach out to people. “I wonder with what faith Omar seeks votes from the Panchs and Sarpanchs who have been humiliated to the hilt by his government. Even Omar Abdullah government failed to grant the inherent powers of the grassroots level representatives. This is the worst kind of political opportunism which Omar has exhibited by seeking votes from Panchs and Sarpanchs,” the former deputy chief minister observed.