Srinagar, March 18: National Conference Vice President and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday accused New Delhi of using DDC elections as “diplomatic tool” even as he asked the country fulfill its “solemn pledges” to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“The founding fathers of the nation have listed all the solemn commitments made to the people of J&K in the constitution itself. We are subjected to canards, called as anti national and timid when we call for having a dialogue with the neighboring country to solve all the impending issues,” Omar said addressing a mammoth public gathering here at Damhal Hanjipura Kulgam,
“The fresh veiled diplomatic outreach between India and Pakistan, and the successive DGMO level accord on the implementation of ceasefire on the borders between India and Pakistan is a telling indictment of our stand,” he said as per a party spokesman in a statement issued here. “We in our party don’t resort to rabble rousing. Pragmatism has long been the template of our party policy. And our repeated calls for dialogue both internal and external are borne out of our commitment to non-violence and predilection for peace. I hope the DGMO level talks act as a step towards greater engagement between India and Pakistan,” he said.
Remarking on the state of democratic institutions in Jammu and Kashmir, he said the DDC elections were used as diplomatic tools by New Delhi. “These people were told that they are going to have a stake in development but when it came to empowering them, the GOI turned to the other side.”
He said National Conference has long been a strong votary of decentralization and participatory governance.
“Our vision for decentralization pre-figures the introduction of Panchayti Raj elsewhere in the country. It was in our times that Panchayat Elections saw a huge turnout. But ironically this local level of government wasn’t spared as well from becoming a causality of politics,” he said.
The DDC elections, he said, saw how all established norms were thrown to air and unashamedly undermining all norms in the elections to DDC.
“The partisan behavior of the administration, using coercion and intimidation to win over crossovers marked the entire breadth of elections and election to DDC chairman.”
He said the scenario pre and post elections revealed how political impropriety and opportunism was allowed to take roots here.
Omar said that the party has long been associated with the political aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Referring to the numerous “shenanigans and other coercive tactics which were employed to dismember the party whilst the entire party leadership was incarcerated”, he said the workers withstood all the intimidation with bravery and didn’t give in.
“The DDC results have made it clear that the people of Jammu and Kashmir trust none other than NC when it comes to representing their genuine political aspirations. However there is no scope of contentment, the results also revealed some shortcomings as well which we need to plug on time. The motive of my today’s visit to DH pura is to pay my earnest tributes to late Shaheed Itoo Sahib and encourage the party functionaries and workers to take on the mission of reaching out to the public more effectively. The need of the hour is to make the party stronger than ever before to face the challenges ahead of us. There is a need to take a queue from today’s gathering and emulate it across the length and breadth of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Among others Party’s General Secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar, additional general secretary Dr Sheikh Mustafa Kamal, Provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani, State Secretary Sakina Itoo, Spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar, District president Kulgam Abdul Majeed Bhat Larmi, District president Pulwama GM Mir, Safdar Khan also addressed the gathering. Party’s local DDC members, Municipal Council Chairman, members, parent, YNC block, Halqa level functionaries were also present in the function.
Earlier the Party Vice President led the party functionaries in offering Fateh and floral tributes at the final resting place of late Shaheed Wali Muhammad Itoo’s final resting place at the shrine of Haji Alam Din (RA) Ziyarat Grave yard at Damhal Hanji Pura. On the occasion party functionaries prayed for peace to the soul of late leader.