J&K DDC polls: PAGD candidates confined to secure locations, not allowed to campaign, says Farooq Abdullah in letter to EC

In a two-page letter to J-K Election Commissioner KK Sharma, Farooq Abdullah said providing security to a select few and literally interning the rest is a gross interference in democracy

Press Trust of India November 21, 2020 19:28:07 IST
J&K DDC polls: PAGD candidates confined to secure locations, not allowed to campaign, says Farooq Abdullah in letter to EC

File image of Farooq Abdullah. ANI

Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and president of newly cobbled up People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) Farooq Abdullah on Saturday objected to the treatment meted out to the amalgam candidates, saying security is being used as a pretext to impede and customise democracy in the Union Territory.

In a two-page letter to J-K Election Commissioner KK Sharma, Abdullah, who is at present a Lok Sabha member from Srinagar, said providing security to a select few and literally interning the rest is a gross interference in democracy.

"I am taking the liberty of writing to you about the upcoming DDC elections. A strange and unique feature has come to the fore. Candidates put up by the PAGD are immediately whisked away to "secure locations" in the name of security and confined to those "secure locations". They are not allowed to canvass, they are completely out of touch with those from whom they are supposed to seek votes," Abdullah said in the letter.

He said the parties part of the PAGD have been in power in the past and have had the opportunity to head and run the government and are aware of the challenges posed in the realm of security in a place beset by violence.

"These challenges are not new, but have been painfully persisting for the last three decades. But, the government had structures in place which ensured security for all contestants irrespective of the ideology they espoused or the parties they represented," he said.

The Lok Sabha MP said the current state of affairs in the realm of security is "blatantly oriented" towards providing security to a select few and confining others.

"This comes across more as an attempt to interfere in the democratic process than any real concern for the wellbeing of the contestants. Security cannot and should not be used as a tool or an excuse to interfere in democratic processes," he said.

Asserting that the evolution of democracy in Jammu and Kashmir is distinctive compared to any other part of the country, Abdullah said this evolution is a "bloodied journey", soaked in the blood of thousands of political workers who have laid down their lives for the sake of democracy.

"It is a desecration of those sacrifices when the very conflict that consumed their lives is used as an alibi to customize democracy. Democracy is still in a state of fragility in Jammu and Kashmir.

"Governments come and go. No government has the right to alter the institutional foundations of democracy in J-K, nourished by the sacrifices of thousands of political workers," the letter read.

He said while security is a challenge and it is for the government of the day to counter that challenge in a manner which is fair and transparent, "providing security to a select few and literally interning the rest is a gross interference in democracy".

The PAGD president''s letter to the State Election Commissioner comes in the backdrop of allegations of major political parties in the valley, including the NC and the PDP, of not having a level-playing field for the elections. The parties have accused the administration of locking up their candidates in accommodations at several places and not allowing them to campaign.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

BJP slams Congress, PDP, NC over 'anti-national' demand for restoration of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir
India

BJP slams Congress, PDP, NC over 'anti-national' demand for restoration of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir

BJP leader Sambit Patra alleged that the Gupkar Alliance's demand for restoration of Article 370 is "exactly what Pakistan and anti-India countries want"

Trapped between past and present, Kashmir's politics is headed towards a dangerous deadlock
India

Trapped between past and present, Kashmir's politics is headed towards a dangerous deadlock

For the best part of the century, Kashmir’s politics has been shaped by opportunistic compromises, half-measures—and, when these failed, ruthless coercion

Nagrota encounter: India summons senior Pakistani diplomat over JeM's attempted attack in J&K ahead of DDC polls
India

Nagrota encounter: India summons senior Pakistani diplomat over JeM's attempted attack in J&K ahead of DDC polls

The MEA said that a huge cache of arms, ammunition and explosive material indicate detailed planning for a 'major attack to destabilise security' in the Union Territory