Udhampur, 14-10-2020: Alleging subversion of democracy and denial of popular govt in J&K post Article 370 abrogation, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh Chairman-JKNPP and former Minister today said that BJP led govt appeared to be averse to the idea of holding Assembly elections in the new set up. He said that while no initiative had been taken to restore popular rule in J&K, the govt in the UT seemed to have been outsourced to bureaucrats from outside the state, both retired and in-service. The recent recall of one of the Advisors and the reports of his replacement by another Advisor amply revealed the intentions of the centre which seemed hell bent to continue its proxy rule in J&K through these bureaucrats. He said that with the political process having been rendered defunct in the new UT, political parties discredited and discouraged and opposition parties suppressed, the democracy had been reduced to a farce in J&K which had eventually given rise to present tensions in the valley and elsewhere in J&K. He was addressing public meetings in Satyalta, Gharian, Ghoran Nala villages in Chenani–Ghordi constituency during his two days tour.
Asserting that legitimate, elected govt. alone could deal with obsequious challenges posed by the rogue nation, Mr. Singh questioned the rationale behind repeated postponement of Assembly Elections in J&K. Strongly condemning the escalation in militancy related activists, he called upon the centre to initiate political process in J&K and ensure restoration of popular rule in the erstwhile state at the earliest. Rather than suppressing the main-stream political parties, these should be encouraged and taken into confidence for restoration of normalcy in the UT. Remember, the proxy rule through outside bureaucrats was not the solution to the woes afflicting J&K. The Advisors and bureaucrats had hardly any access to the general public who were feeling alienated. An elected govt therefore alone, in view of its accessibility and proximity with the common masses, could enlist their support in fighting cross border terrorism exported by the hostile neighbour. Questioning the rationale behind repeated postponement of Assembly Elections, Mr. Singh said that vested interests in the present bureaucracy were among the biggest stumbling blocks in restoration of democratic govt in J&K.
Mr. Singh said that the Election Commission had earlier taken a call for simultaneous polls of Assembly and Parliament which however did not materialize. It later issued a statement on 4th June, 2019 stating therein that the EC “after the conduct of Amarnath Yatra will announce the election schedule for the conduct of Assembly Elections in J&K”, revealed Singh adding that it too turned out to be a damp squib. Likewise, statements of early Assembly polls were issued by central govt, Governor and the Lt. Governor of J&K also, which too created only cynicism amongst the masses in view of the frequency with which they were made and then forgotten.
Pointing towards the euphoria created post Article 370 abrogation in the name of fresh Delimitation of Assembly constituencies, Mr. Singh said that it too had petered out as hardly any progress had been achieved in this regard during the last 18 months.
Asserting that a people’s govt alone could fulfil the aspirations of the general masses, Mr. Singh sought early restoration of democracy by putting an end to proxy rule imposed by the centre in J&K.