BJP resorted to illicit means to capture power in J&K DDC polls: NC

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Srinagar, Feb 8 (PTI) The National Conference (NC) on Monday accused the BJP of “undermining” democracy by “resorting to illicit means” to capture power in the recently concluded District Development Council (DDC) elections.

In a statement here, NC spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar expressed dismay over the “nose diving” of democratic norms and set rules in the elections for the posts of chairperson and vice-chairperson of the DDCs.

“The BJP and its ilk is unabashedly undermining all norms in the elections to DDC chairpersons and deputy chairpersons. The way the administration is playing partisan to curry favour with the ruling party and their stooges has also raised a question mark on the partiality of the entire process,” he said.

The NC leader said these parties having failed to make a mark in the DDC elections were now employing different means to make up the numbers with little understanding of the long term consequences on the prospects of democracy in the region.

“Through DDC elections, the people of J&K had conveyed a message. The BJP and its ilk are unfortunately making a gaffe in reading it. In a curious turn of events, it is nose-diving to the lowest ebb of political impropriety in a gambit to grab power in DDCs using whatever means to achieve that end,” he said.

Dar said the rampant instances of defection and crossovers “using coercion, intimidation and bullying” post the DDC elections in Shopian, Srinagar, Budgam and elsewhere in Jammu and Kashmir was a “telling indictment” of the BJP's brand of politics.

“BJP is wittingly helping political impropriety and opportunism take roots. This, I believe, is not compatible with the country's democratic moorings and certainly not in greater interests of a region like ours,” he said.

He said defections and crossovers have become a new normal in this part of the world.

“The region has turned into a breeding ground of such a breed of politics nurtured by the ruling BJP. In the long run, the current phenomenon will have a formidable bearing on the nature of electoral politics in Kashmir,' he said.

“The pest of defection has been a prominent feature of BJP's new touted Kashmir policy. Having failed to garner support through genuine electoral process, the BJP is touching new lows on a daily basis to help its team B,” he said, apparently referring to Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party led by former finance minister Altaf Bukhari.

The NC spokesperson said the “scenario unleashed by the ruling BJP is tantamount to robbing the mandate of the people”.

Meanwhile, NC district president of Kupwara, Qaisar Jamsheed Lone, alleged that the district administration Kupwara flawed all norms in the elections to DDC chairperson and deputy chairperson “by playing a partisan role to engineer a particular outcome”.

Referring to the election process held in Kupwara, Lone said all set norms were thrown to the wind in the elections.

“The predetermined time for the elections was set from 11 pm to 1 pm and during that time our elected DDC members stayed put at the election venue waiting for the election proceedings,' he said.

“But the elections were subsequently adjourned due to lack of perquisite quorum, so, our DDC members left the venue after 1 pm as the predetermined time for the elections was only up till then,” he claimed.

By ditching all norms, elections for the DDC chairperson and deputy chairperson were held in veil of secrecy at around 2 pm, much later after the NC DDC members had left the venue, Lone alleged.

“It was only after our members had left the election venue that the administration ensured the presence of two independent DDC members and the elections were held after the defined time slot,” he claimed.

Lone said the way the entire exercise was carried out raises serious question marks on the partiality of elections. PTI SSB RHL