National Conference Provincial President Devender Singh Rana on Monday described the decision of holding Panchayat elections through paper ballot as yet another act of trampling democracy after the illogical indirect elections of Sarpanchs in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Motivation seems to be loud and clear that the PDP-BJP dispensation wants to usurp genuine democratic aspirations of the people by hoisting own people in most important institutions at the grass-roots level”, Rana said while talking to reporters at the side-lines of a function here this afternoon.
Flanked by State Vice President Th Kashmira Singh besides Sagar Chand, Ajit Kumar Sharma, Davinder Singh Bindu, Ravinder Singh Slathia, Shakeel Ahmed, Sham Narain Mehta, Raj Kumar, Davinder Mehta, Harpreet Singh and Harjeet Singh, the Provincial President blamed the insensitive and opportunistic alliance for murdering and subverting democracy as per its convenience and political exigencies, as a result of which peoples’ faith and confidence in democratic exercise is fast eroding.
Non-use of EVMs speak of the clandestine intentions, as the coalition is afraid of facing the people with confidence due to loss of its credibility and disenchantment among the people, he said, adding that National Conference will not allow manipulations to succeed.
To a question, Rana hoped that the Election Commission will clear stand on the mechanism of holding Panchayat elections, as the PDP-BJP government stands fully exposed.
“Grass roots level democracy is directly linked to masses and it has to be fair and transparent”, Rana said and referred to flip flops of the Coalition Government, first in getting the election of Sarpanchs out of the gambit of direct vote and then delimiting the constituencies. The intentions and the sincerity of the government is under doubt, which will meet strong and befitting reply by the National Conference. He asserted that National Conference is prepared for elections to Panchayats but the way the government is proceeding ahead in respect of the biggest democratic exercise is not acceptable.
When asked why the government has switched over to paper ballots, Rana said, “They (the ruling PDP and BJP partners) may be shying away from facing the people but we are always prepared to face the highest court of electors, as we believe the people to be real fountain head of power.”
Rana lambasted the government for weakening democracy in Jammu and Kashmir for which Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah has fought consistently for decades. He said the people will give a befitting reply to the coalition democratically through their votes.
He said the coalition has lost the plot, which is why it is indulging in backdoor channels to have its hegemony in the Panchayats.
Rana said the failed government has lost moral right to rule the state, as it has raised hands, be it developmental front or deliverance of utility services. He referred to invisibility of the government at ground and said the erratic power and drinking water supply, scarcity of rations and other utility services have made the life of common people miserable.