Srinagar, July 4: Abid Raza Ansari, the legislator from Zadibal Constituency of Srinagar city, who distanced himself from PDP Wednesday leveled grave allegations against Mehbooba Mufti and her ‘loyalists’ claiming that at least 14 PDP legislators are mulling to leave the party.
“I am in touch with at least 14 PDP legislators who are dissatisfied and mulling to leave the party. Third Front can’t be ruled out,” Ansari said.
Ansari while targeting Naeem Akhtar, Pirzada Mansoor, Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra and Sartaj Madni said the party that was established by late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed offering his blood was ruined by her ‘incapable’ daughter and other members.
Abid Raza Ansari, as per news agency CNS, said Mehbooba Mufti and her loyalists humiliated every MLA from time to time.
“Mehbooba groomed Naeem Akhtar who ruled the roost. Akhtar who was not elected by people interfered in every constituency and didn’t allow Ministers and legislators to function smoothly. Akhtar indulged in corruption and bought 250 kanals of land in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district. The matter needs to be investigated. He along with Pirzada Mansoor, Sartaj Madni, Farooq Andrabi misguided Mehbooba Mufti,” alleged Ansari adding that every PDP legislator faced humiliation at the hands of either Nayeem Akhtar or Pirzada Mansoor.
He said it was mandatory for every PDP legislator to inform or meet Pirzada Mansoor first before meeting Mehbooba Mufti. “Mehbooba rarely had time for any MLA. It was Mansoor who was calling shots directing PDP legislators what to do and what not to do. Many MLA’s faced humiliation when Mehbooba didn’t lend ear to their grievances and instead asked them to consult Pirzada Mansoor,” he said adding the biggest humiliation was that elected representatives were ruled by a defeated candidate.
“One day a team of 11 MLA’s went to meet Mehbooba Mufti. I was part of that team and we all had multiple grievances. Instead of addressing our grievances, she insulted us and accused us of hatching a conspiracy to dethrone her. Her immaturity befuddled us all,” Ansar said.
In a scathing attack on Sartaj Mandni, the disgruntled legislator said he violated all the norms to adjust his son in a department. “Madni is a contractor who only knows how to maximize profits.”
Ansari alleged that Mehbooba Mufti gave too much importance to some of her loyalists. “A quota of 250 seats were given to Waheed-ur- Rehman Parra and he adjusted his nears and dears in Jammu Kashmir Bank, Jammu Kashmir Police, Youth Service and Sports and other departments,” Ansari alleged.
Ansari claimed that nobody was taken into confidence when Tasaduq Mufti was launched by Mehbooba Mufti. “We did not even know that Mufti Sayeed had a son. Mehbooba is no match to her father. Mufti Muhammad Sayeed was a great leader who respected every party worker.”
Ansari alleged that Mehbooba’s loyalists encouraged corruption in every department. “Vice Chairmen were nominated through corrupt means and most of them were defeated candidates. A simple doctor was appointed as Commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation. He was sent to JK House in New Delhi and in his place, another relative of Mehbooba was assigned the job of Commissioner SMC. Without tender, the contract for Government Medical College Dooru Ananatnag was assigned to a sycophant. Smart City project was kept in abeyance because Mehbooba’s loyalists didn’t find any person who could fill up their coffers to their content,” Ansari alleged and said that a transfer industry was created to mint money from top officials.
Ansari said that a hardworking doctor at SKIMS was removed as Director to pave way for a person who was close to PDP lobby. “The remote of SKIMS is with one Dr Wani who is in London. Mehbooba wanted him to bring here but later changed mind,” he said.
He challenged Mehbooba Mufti to show a single point in Agenda of Alliance that was implemented in letter and spirit. “During PDP-BJP rule, the economy of Kashmir suffered extensively,” Ansari said. (CNS)
Not holding simultaneous elections will impact voter turnout in LS polls: Experts
Srinagar, Mar 19: Not holding Assembly and Parliamentary polls together is likely to impact the overall voter turnout in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in the valley, claim valley based experts in politics.
This year many new parties have come to the fore and the Centre is likely to enhance its deployment of forces in Kashmir to ensure “violence free elections.”
However with spontaneous disturbance across the valley coupled with delaying of the Assembly elections by the Centre, the experts claim a major proportion of the people are likely to keep away from casting their votes.
“Parliamentary election in Kashmir usually invite low voter turnout. Had it been both Lok Sabha and General Assembly elections held together in the state the voter turnout could be expected higher. As of now, we don’t see chances of any major turn out in voting ahead especially in Kashmir,” said Prof Gul Muhammad Wani who teaches Political Science at Kashmir University.
Wani expressed doubt over the participation of newly formed parties in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
“I am not sure if these smaller parties will field their candidates. Even if their leaders file nomination, people won’t vote for them in huge proportion compared to the two main political parties of Kashmir (NC and PDP),” Wani said.
“Many parties will use this election to mobilise people for the upcoming assembly elections,” he said.
In 2014 LS polls, 49.7 per cent voter turnout was recorded in Jammu and Kashmir. Barring Jammu, people mostly in Kashmir prefer to choose boycott over ballot as only 11.46% voter turnout was recorded in summer capital.
In 2017 by-polls, the turnout in Srinagar dipped further to only seven percent as violence and killing gripped the valley on poll day.
Prof Noor Ahmad Baba, another expert in politics, claims the parliamentary elections in Kashmir won’t be a “bigger affair” as he believes that there are less “reaction” votes from the valley.
“In other states people vote to express their dissent, which is not in case of Kashmir. Some people will vote here positively. The turnout is expected to be higher in Assembly polls ahead,” he said.
Prof Baba said the emergence of new parties too won’t woo many people to cast their vote for them.
“These new parties won’t have much impact immediately. Sajad Lone has no appeal outside Baramulla and Shah Faesal too can’t make a bigger difference. However, if NC and Congress form an alliance then some may come out to vote,” he said.
Slow repair work halts cross-LoC trade in Uri
Traders fear losses in crores
Srinagar, Mar 19: The Cross-LoC trade in Uri has hugely suffered due to snail-paced repair work on the Kamaan Post Bridge, traders rued on Tuesday.
As per them, around 116 trucks are stuck at Uri road in north Kashmir while 24 others are stranded at Traders Federation Center Salamabad. The stranded trucks are carrying delicate items including fruits and vegetables which cannot be preserved for long course of time.
Aggrieved over the losses, the Cross-LoC Traders Association claimed that the delicate goods in stranded trucks have been damaged due to the delay.
Speaking to The Kashmir Monitor, Hilal Turki, chairman, Cross-LoC Traders’ Association, said the items in the trucks have almost “perished” as around two weeks have passed since the repairing work started.
“The losses might be in crores as there are 140 trucks stranded. We have written to the Director General of Police to seek the intervention for speedy repairing of the bridge,” he said.
In a letter to government authorities, the association stated: “Our traders mostly deal with fresh items and the value of those items is in millions of rupees, here we would like to bring in your kind notice that most of the products come from all over the country and as such our loaded fresh trucks remain in transit for a week or more due to this uncomfortable situation our traders are desperately waiting for speedy repairing of Kamaan Pull so that heavy losses can be saved.”
Earlier on March 9, police communicated to the concern authorities that due to the sustained use of Kaman Aman Setu for cross-LoC trade for a long period, the bridge has suffered some damages which requires immediate repair to prevent further deportation.
“Inspection of the bridge was carried out on March 8, 2019, which indicated that the bridge needs urgent repairs and maintenance to ensure its longevity. The repair would require minimum 10-15 days,” he said.
However, around two weeks after, the repair work is still on at a very slow pace.
Riyaz Malik, SDM, Uri told The Kashmir Monitor that the resurfacing work in Kamaan Post bridge is going on. “Trade is suspended since then as work is going on and it will take 10-15 more days to allow traffic on the bridge. We have advised the traders to get the items down some where in Srinagar,” Riyaz said.
Cross-LoC trade and the bus service between India and Pakistan were suspended last month too, in backdrop of the Pulwama suicide attack in which 49 CRPF personnel were killed.
Centre misusing NIA to target Kashmiris: Soz
Srinagar, Mar 19: Alleging that Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre was misusing National Investigation Agency (NIA) to target Kashmiris, senior Congress leader Prof Saifuddin Soz on Tuesday said this will be useless and counter-productive.
The former union minister supported chairman of Hurriyat (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq who has asked NIA to question him in Srinagar as he cannot travel Delhi for security reasons.
In a statement here this afternoon, Prof Soz said, “I give credence to Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s stand that he should be questioned anywhere in Srinagar and not asked to travel to NIA headquarters in Delhi”.
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