Sikhs Won’t Vote For NC, Congress: APSCC

Sikhs Won’t Vote For NC, Congress: APSCC

30 August 2013
Rising Kashmir
Younus Ahmad

Srinagar: All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee Wednesday said they will boycott the 2014 Assembly elections if their legitimate grievances including the expedient implementation of National Minorities Act in the state were not addressed. Addressing media persons here Chairman APSCC Jagmohan Singh Raina said, “We will boycott the next assembly elections scheduled for 2014 if the political parties of Jammu and Kashmir fail to implement the National Minorities Act in the state”. Without making mentioning of PDP, he said APSCC has decided to ensure that no Sikh casts a vote for National Conference and Congress in the upcoming Assembly elections, if the government fails to implement National Minorities Act in the state. Raina said the committee will launch a campaign to ensure no Sikh casts vote for the politicians of ruling parties in Jammu and Kashmir. Reacting to the statements of Syed Ali Geelani and others on the musical concert by Zubin Mehta in Kashmir, Raina while showed his support to Hurriyat leadership by saying the committee is also against the musical concert in Kashmir. “Sikhs constitute a significant proportion of the electorate in eight assembly seats of Kashmir and 10 in Jammu division. It is quite possible that both parties would suffer heavily in the upcoming Assembly elections,” he said. Raina said APSCC strongly condemns the state government’s proposal of holding back National Minorities Act and implementing State Minorities Act and ignoring the recommendations of Prime Minister and President Pranab Mukherjee. 'This has lead to alienation of Sikhs in the state as Sikhs are the most suppressed community in J&K. State Government has no excuse for not implementing National Minorities Status in Jammu and Kashmir as all the costs for the Act are being borne by the centre,” Raina added. He said despite raising the issue with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah several times still there has been no relief. 'Thousands of posts are vacant in Jammu and Kashmir but State Government is doing nothing to fill them. Unemployment is growing among the majority group as well as minority groups,” he added. Responding to a query about the allegations of sexual assault of a 15-year-old-girl against spiritual leader Asaram Bapu, Dalmiya, said, “We condemn such shameful incidents. These people defame our society and create dispute between different sections of the community.” The committee also highlighted some major social, political and economic problems faced by the Sikh community. These include the demand to restore Punjabi language in the state colleges and schools, non-interference in their religious matters and job opportunities for youth of Kashmir especially in tourism and fisheries sector.