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BJP’s haste affected credibility of ULB, Panchayat poll: Monga

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Srinagar, Oct 04: Blaming the BJP for imposing Urban Local Bodies (ULB) and Panchayat elections on people of Kashmir without taking ground realities into consideration, J&K Pradesh Congress Vice President and MLC GN Monga Thursday said the credibility of the poll process has been badly affected.

In a statement to media, Monga said out of a total 624 municipal wards in Kashmir Valley, no candidate has filed nomination in 177 wards while in 215 wards the candidates have been declared unopposed. “It speaks volumes about the credibility of these elections which were imposed on the people by power-thirsty BJP. More than two lakh people would not exercise their franchise due to non-availability of candidates. What will be the credibility of these polls, where even finding a candidate to contest has become difficult,” he said.

“Holding elections in haste without taking ground realities into consideration at a politically sensitive place like Kashmir could prove suicidal. The absence of regional parties in the poll process, prevailing law and order situation and people not ready for polls were enough reasons to defer the polls for some time. But the BJP for their own interests didn’t care about it,” he added.

 

The Congress leader said that even the names of contesting candidates are not being made public by the poll authorities due to the prevailing situation. “When the voter doesn’t have knowledge about whom he is voting and what are the credentials of the candidates, what sort of democracy it is. The BJP had made the whole poll exercise a mockery for their own benefit,” Monga said.

He said after the BJP led Center hastily announced the ULB and Panchayat polls in the state, Congress had no choice but to accept the elections. “The pretended Kashmir friendly intentions of BJP are a mirage. We will face the elections and fight with high spirits. Congress only relies on the support of common people it enjoyed since its inception. However, the BJP is using official machinery for the polls which is unfortunate in a democracy,” the Congress leader said.

“While the candidates contesting on BJP ticket are being given adequate security, the same is being denied to Congress candidates. We hope Governor Satya Pal Malik will look into these issues,” he added.


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Hurriyat response for meaningful talks a good omen: Hakeem

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Srinagar, Jun 24: Chairman Peoples Democratic Front (PDF), Hakeem Yaseen has welcomed the positive response of Hurriyat Conference for holding talks in a bid to resolve the Kashmir situation.

In a statement issued to media, Hakeem Yaseen termed the statement of Hurriyat Conference Chairman, Molvi Umar Farooq as a good omen that Hurriyat leaders were ready for dialogue with New Delhi, if “meaningful” talks are initiated. He said Governor S P Malik, being a responsible representative of the Central Government should provide a congenial environment to the central government interlocutors and genuine stakeholders of the Kashmir problem for initiating meaningful talks on Kashmir.

He said a sincere effort for talks was dire need of the time to stop daily killings and mayhem in the strife torn state.

 

Hakeem Yaseen hoped that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi would utilize his renewed mandate to resolve the vexed Kashmir problem once for all as this was the main bone of contention between India and its neighboring country Pakistan.

“Talks are the only way forward for ending animosity between India and Pakistan,” Hakeem Yaseen said adding that people of the state have become the first casualty of the strained relations between the two neighbouring countries since last seven decades.

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Tarigami urges govt to revisit its approach

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Srinagar, Jun 24: CPI (M) leader M Y Tarigami on Monday said that comprising four districts Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian, south Kashmir has been on the boil ever since July 2016. “Despite passing of three years, the situation in the region is not showing any significant improvement with media reports showing that some youths continue to join militant ranks,” he said.

In a statement issued to media, Tarigami said, “Why isn’t there significant change in south Kashmir despite huge deployment of security forces? Perhaps it is because muscular approach is not giving desired results and needs to be revisited. The policy makers need to answer these questions. Mere counting of arrests and killings are not an answer to this situation.”

“Arbitrary arrests, nocturnal raids and are causing insecurity and harassment among people in the region. It has been done before as well in the State, but it has never yielded anything. On the other hand, it just exacerbates the anger and gives rise to further uncertainty,” he said.

 

CPI(M) leader said that during early 1990’s large scale arrests took place which only worsened situation. “This is a tried and tested and failed model which we are afraid will only worsen the situation further,” he said.

“Similarly, some people arrested under different laws, are not being released despite courts ordering their release on bail. Those released by the courts are being re-arrested from the jail compound itself and booked under Public Safety Act (PSA),” Tarigami added.

He said that job of security forces is law enforcement. “You can control the unlawful activities only through lawful measures. Such a course amounts to violation of laws which cannot help in restoring order,” he said.

“Though the authorities lifted twice a week curbs on the movement of civilian vehicles on National Highway, reports of security forces harassing the commuters are still pouring in. In the name of security, people are being harassed day-in and day-out,” Tarigami added.

“The safety of security forces convoys is important, but in the name of security common people should not feel any inconvenience or harassment. Patients, students, employees, traders and others, who have to commute daily on the highway should be given full respect by the forces while their convoys move. There should be a better and people friendly way of protecting forces using the highway,” he said.

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Back to Village programme: CS interacts with Panchayats reps, locals at Gurez, B’pora

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Gurez, June 24: Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam during his 2-day extensive visit to district Bandipora participated in the Back to Village Programme on Monday across several Panchayats and also visited Gurez.

The Chief Secretary visited Kanzalwan, Badwan, Wanpora and Khandyal Panchayats and interacted with Panchayat representatives and local people. He spent half a day in Panchayat Wanpora, attended the Gram Sabha there and interacted with Panches and Sarpanchs.

Principal Secretary, Animal and Sheep Husbandry, Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon, Deputy Commissioner Bandipora Shahbaz Ahmad Mirza, Superintendent of Police Rahul Malik and other senior officers of the district were also present.

 

Appreciating the concept of Back to Village Programme, people welcomed the initiative of the Government in bringing governance to the grassroots level. During the interactions, a number of demands were put forth for consideration of the Government including those related to construction of roads and bridges, construction of tunnel for keeping Bandipora-Gurez road open round the year, arrangements for winters, availability of ration, issues with regard to rehabilitation of people displaced by construction of dam, establishment of SBI Branches in Tulail and Gurez, employees issues, reservation, healthcare facilities construction of bunkers , creation of job avenues etc.

In his remarks, Chief Secretary observed that Back to Village Programme is aimed at energizing and strengthening the Panchayats and directing development efforts in rural areas through community participation. He said the feedback obtained from the visiting officers will be valuable to assess the development needs, analyze the economic potential of the villages/hamlets and to tailor areas specific government schemes/programmes.

Chief Secretary said that areas like Gurez have huge tourism potential. He said Government is actively considering establishment of a Tourism Development Authority here that will help in creation of tourism infrastructure albeit in a planned and eco-friendly manner so as to harness tourism potential of the area while maintaining its pristine glory. He further stated that several important development projects are at various stages of completion which include Khandyal-Bandipora road which will considerably reduce the distance between Bandipora and Gurez.

Chief Secretary said the Government is planning to make a special tourist corridor to connect Ladakh with Gurez, Tangdhar and other border areas of the state.

While responding to the grievances with regard to the Kishenganga Hydroelectric Power Project (KHEP), Chief Secretary said that government will examine the issue further. He said that improvement of power supply in Gurez will remain under focussed attention of the Government.   

At Wanpora, Chief Secretary distributed poultry birds among several beneficiaries under the National Livelihood Mission.

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