PDP’s ‘dual Policy’ Comes Under Criticism

PDP’s ‘dual Policy’ Comes Under Criticism

18 March 2013
Rising Kashmir


Srinagar: Opposition Peoples Democratic Party’s dual policy of boycotting the proceedings in Legislative Assembly and attending the Legislative Council has come under severe criticism. The ruling National Conference (NC) Monday said PDP Patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed’s continued absence from the Legislative Assembly for the past four years was an example of how PDP was mocking the democratic institutions of the State. Talking to Rising Kashmir over phone from Jammu, NC Additional General Secretary, Mustafa Kamal said while Sayeed had been accusing Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and NC of ending the role of the democratic institutions of the State, he himself paid no regard to the Legislature – one of the strongest pillars of a democracy. “In 4 years, Mufti hardly attended the Legislative Assembly twice,” Kamal said. “Mufti’s mental makeup is such that he can only think of political machinations aimed at bringing down the government.” On Sunday, Sayeed, in a statement issued here, said the Legislative Assembly had been turned into a mock house. He said the government instead of getting worried by opposition boycott felt relieved at what it considers as “good riddance” and that this attitude could have disastrous implications for the State. Kamal said Sayeed’s accusation that Omar Abdullah led government was making the democratic institutions defunct was a case of ‘kettle calling the pot black’. Terming Sayeed an “evil genius”, Kamal said Sayeed used his influence of having been the Union Home Minister. “PDP came to power in 2008 because of being close to Army, intelligence agencies and the Election Commission,” Kamal said. “In 2008, our voters did not come out because Mufti used Army to terrorize people.” Kamal said Sayeed was a dictator and did not even consult senior PDP leaders like Muzaffar Hussain Baig while taking the decision of boycotting the Legislative Assembly. “According to Baig, he was not even consulted when Mufti wrote to the Prime Minister about the return of Afzal Guru’s body,” he said. PDP had announced boycott of the budget session after they failed to bring a resolution in the Assembly on the return of the body of Afzal Guru. The budget session is likely to end on April 4, and PDP would roughly miss three weeks of business. PDP has maintained that they skipped the proceedings in the Legislative Assembly as the government was not allowing them to speak over the issues of public interest like the return of Afzal Guru’s body and human rights violations like the killings of Tahir Sofi in army firing at Baramulla, Altaf Ahmad Wani in CRPF firing at Saidpora, Srinagar. The main opposition party also maintained that they were attending the Legislative Council proceedings in order to avoid an embarrassing situation in case the issue of return of Afzal Guru’s body comes up. Defending PDP’s ‘dual policy’ of attending LC and skipping LA proceedings, Member of Legislative Council (MLC) and PDP spokesman Naeem Akhtar told Rising Kashmir that PDP Patron Mufti Sayeed had already made it abundantly clear why the party did so. “We don’t think skipping Legislative Assembly is harming the interests of people who elected our representatives,” Akhtar said. He also defended his party patron and former chief minister Mufti Sayeed for skipping Legislative Assembly proceedings for the past 4 years. “He attends,” Akhtar said. “Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn’t.” He said there was no hard and fast rule to attend the Legislative Assembly and Sayeed had made it clear why or why not the party was skipping the proceedings in Legislative Assembly. Talking to Rising Kashmir over phone from Jammu, Minister for Medical Education, Sports and Youth Services and senior Congress leader Taj Mohuiddin said PDP was hurting the legislature by skipping the assembly proceedings. “I don’t know why they want to hurt the legislature,” Mohuiddin said. “They are resorting to emotional blackmail.” He said PDP’s absence had made the Legislative Assembly, a one-sided House. “They have left the field open for Bharatiya Janta Party and Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party,” Mohuiddin said. “Now these parties are making it a regional opposition.” He said PDP played a balancing factor. “It is their duty to keep government on the tenterhooks,” Mohuiddin said. “Their staying away from the Legislative Assembly is the defeat of both the opposition as well as the government.” However, he was not critical of PDP Patron Mufti Sayeed for skipping Legislative Assembly proceedings for most of the past four years. Sayeed is an MLA from south Kashmir’s Anantnag constituency and has been conspicuous with his absence from the Assembly even during this session. He appeared in LA during this budget session on the day of voting for vacant MLC seats was held in the Legislative Council. Mohuiddin said Sayeed was a senior leader and he could skip the Legislative Assembly proceedings. “I can’t say anything on it as Mufti Sahab can have health reasons,” he said. “I can’t teach politics to a person of his stature and he knows what is to be done.”