AS uneasy calm prevails in the restive Kashmir region, political parties have started low pitch election campaign for the upcoming by-elections.
While Abdullahs are accusing the PDP and BJP combination for having vested interest in keeping Kashmir on boil, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti insists that her party’s agenda will be development and dialogue.
As 45-year-old Tassaduq Mufti, and the State Congress Chief, Ghulam Ahmad Mir filed nominations for sensitive south Kashmir’s Anantnag constituency today, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) didn’t go for any big show in Anantnag. However, the National Conference working president and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Mir addressed a rally after the nomination. Mir is joint candidate of NC and Congress in South Kashmir.
Abdullah described PDP a party of broken promises, saying it is used to making hollow rhetorical promises with the least intention of keeping their word. “Spell out even one of the promises that has been kept”, Abdullah said in his address after Mir filed his nomination paper.
“The brazen betrayal of PDP’s promise to keep away the BJP from Kashmir was joining them to form the government”, Abdullah said while referring to PDP’s campaign during 2014 assembly and parliamentary elections against the threat of the Sangh Parivar making inroads in the Valley. But, once the elections were over, the PDP jumped all its demarcated lines and hugged the same party to be in alliance and in the government, he said.
In Srinagar Dr Farooq Abdullah, who is joint candidate of Congress and the NC for Srinagar constituency, Wednesday met deputations and workers at party headquarters at Nawa-i-Subah.
Dr. Abdullah called for a united front to foil “the machinations of communal and divisive elements” saying that the spirit of inclusiveness alone can steer Jammu and Kashmir out of the prevailing morass and political instability.
“PDP has volunteered to be RSS flag-bearer to trample the unique identity of Jammu and Kashmir and demolish its time-tested secular ethos”, Dr Abdullah said.
The bye-elections are taking place at a time when there is no thaw in pro-freedom protests, which erupted in the Valley after killing of a militant commander, 22-year-old Burhan Muzaffer Wani, last year.
Of three parliamentary constituencies of Kashmir region, two fell vacant after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti resigned as Anantnag constituency last year in June and later on September 15, 2016 PDP’s senior leader, Tariq Hamid Karra, resigned from Srinagar parliamentary seat over killing of civilian protesters in bullet and pellet firing of the government forces. Karra accused government forces of “butchering Kashmiris and spilling their blood.”
Karra, who has joined Congress party, is campaigning for NC candidates.
Under constant attack from the opposition for her government response to 2016 unrest, the PDP president and Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, said that vote for her party would be an endorsement for transforming Jammu and Kashmir through dialogue and development and getting the State out of the present crisis.
She was talking to her party workers in Srinagar.
She said her Party has been working to get the State out of the quagmire of uncertainty and reminded the workers of many path breaking initiatives taken during the Party’s rule from 2002 to 2005. “That was the first phase of transformation in Jammu & Kashmir under PDP rule and the second phase of transformation is underway,” she told the workers.
Mehbooba said these elections would be an endorsement of party’s agenda of initiating political dialogue in the State, resumption of friendly ties between India and Pakistan, opening of more Cross LoC routes, facilitating more and more people to people contacts besides providing good governance to people.
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