`Impose Governor rule to ensure free, fair polls’

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 4/14/2017 1:33:17 PM

JAMMU, Apr 13: A high level delegation of J&K Pradesh Congress Committee led by president JKPCC G.A. Mir today met the Governor N N Vhora at Raj Bhawan today and submitted a memorandum demanding imposition of Governor’s rule in view of, “what it said, “the total failure of the state government on all fronts” and which, it said, “lost the confidence of the people.”
The delegation apprised that Governor of the worsening situation, which it said, “is evident from the large scale violence and the unprecedented lowest ever poll percentage and the total failure of the government to provide conducive atmosphere and security environment to ensure successful conduct of elections.” The party also complained about “the partisan role of the present dispensation in the conduct of elections” and said there was large scale resentment against the present ruling coalition. “The present government should step down as it has no moral authority to remain in power otherwise the situation would further worsen which would be difficult to retrieve,” the delegation demanded. The party demanded that any future election should be conducted under the Governor rule in order to ensure free, fair and successful conduct and the Election Commission should take on board the opposition to assure the free, fair and transparent conduct of elections. The delegation comprised senior leaders of PCC and legislators including Sham Lal Sharma, CLP leader N Rigzin Jora, Chowdhary Aijaz Ahmed Khan, vice-presidents G.M. Saroori, Haji Rasheed, Mula Ram, chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma, Mohammed Amin Bhat MLA, Usman Majid-MLA and Gulzar Wani MLA.
Concerned over the situation that emerged in Kashmir valley in the wake of large scale violence and loss of precious lives during the disruptions of poll process on April 9, the J&K Pradesh Congress Committee delegation sought Governor’s indulgence to save “the situation from further worsening to the level of no return, difficult to retrieve it.”
“In the backdrop of the current situation, it is stated that the prevailing situation is the result of several acts of omissions and commissions on the part of state and centre government which ignored the warning signals from the valley from the past some time, upon which the Congress as well as the other mainstream opposition parties and other concerned quarters always voiced their serious concerns, with a view to draw the attention of the government and to persuade it to take some more appropriate measures and initiatives in order to retrieve the situation. While the situation on the ground continued to be grim, the governments of state and Centre decided to go for Lok Sabha polls at this critical juncture without visualizing the ground situation, especially the security environment and the negative fall out of such a move at this juncture. Needless to say that the Congress party while realizing its national duties and its commitment to the democracy, expressed its willingness to take part in any such electoral process subject to the creation of conducive atmosphere and ensuring the adequate security environment for the electoral exercise. Time and again the Congress party and other main stream opposition parties expressed their concern over the deteriorating situation and the security aspects of the matter including those of the political activists,” the memorandum read.
It further said that the Election Commission’s decision to hold the elections was always based on the inputs of the state and central governments over the overall atmosphere and adequacy of security measures, especially in the state like Jammu and Kashmir.
“The Congress party and other mainstream opposition parties like NC tried its level best in the most difficult environment and against all odds especially for the workers of opposition to mobilize the public support to ensure the success of the electoral battle. However during the process, both the parties time and again voiced their serious concerns over the situation especially the inadequate measures by the state government to create appropriate atmosphere and environment for the campaigning. Unfortunately, the ruling dispensation in the state was more guided by its political interests in the polls rather than the broader aspects of the exercise. The Deputy Election Commission of India who visited in Kashmir during this period was also apprised of the situation and concerns and apprehensions by the Congress party besides the odds faced by its prominent leaders and activists,” it was stated in the memorandum.
Despite all this, just two days before polls, the police officials started lifting the important activists of the party under the garb of security cover, which too was strongly resented by the party, as it was guided by the political interests of the ruling party in fray in Anantnag, the delegation said in the memorandum.
“Abruptly after the polls in Srinagar Lok Sabha, the candidate of the ruling coalition for Anantnag seat sought postponement of polls. He did so in order to save the ruling coalition from the imminent defeat, not withstanding any other logic being advanced by the government. Had they been concerned over the situation and plight of the common people in the wake of going for polls, the ruling coalition should have properly visualized the situation and gauged the mood before hand. All of a sudden, we came to know of the deferment of polls for Anantnag, and its rescheduling for May 25, without seeking any prior views and consultations with the opposition candidates,” the delegation rued.
The re-polling for 38 booths in Srinagar LS constituency were scheduled for today, while at the same time it was postponed for Anantnag to May 25, without any road map as to how the polling would be smooth by then, it pointed out.
“Under these circumstances, we are of the firm belief that these elections can’t be held in fair and impartial manner under the present dispensation in the state, in view of its partisan role and atmosphere of resentment and hatred against this government because of its total failures and various acts of omissions and commissions to handle the situation. As such, your kind indulgence is sought to impose Governor rule to ensure free, fair and successful polls to the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat and in order to save situation from furthering worsening to the level of no return difficult to retrieve it, which will be against the overall national interests. The Election Commission of India may be apprised of our concerns, so that for taking any further decisions in this regard, we should be taken on board to address our genuine apprehensions for the free , fair and successful conduct of the exercise,” it was stated in the memorandum.



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