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news details
Poll boycott a ploy to weaken democracy in JK
Valley parties were never interested in strengthening democracy
9/18/2018 10:54:03 PM
Early Times Report
Jammu, Sept 18: The Kashmir centric dynastic parties have never supported democratic process in the state right from 1947 after the independence of the country and accession of J&K State with the Indian Union. This is the reason that they never encouraged holding of Municipality, Civic Body and Panchayat elections in the state.
It was only during the time of late Ghulam Mohammed Sadiq when the Panchayat and civic body elections were held in the state and later the process was given a goodbye in NC rule. Though NC claimed a lot about strengthening the Panchayts by bringing its Panchayt Raj Act, in the heart of hearts it was never interested in taking democracy to grass root level in the state.
Sources said that NC leadership which during its rule brought the Panchayti raj Act in the state wanted to restrict the implementation of 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment passed by Indian parliament during the Rajiv Gandhi's Government at Centre to empower the Panchayts and other institutions of democracy in the state.
However NC taking the advantage of separate constitutional position of the state created impediments in the implementation of this constitutional amendment in the state by describing their own act as most vibrant and much more democratic than Centre's act. To oppose the central law one of the NC's senior leader and former Panchayti Raj Minister during Dr Farooq Abdullah's government is on record to say that the state Act is much better than 74th Constitutional amendment or Central law.
Sources said that neither during the Dr Abdullah's government from 1996 to 2002, nor PDP-Congress rule from 2002 to 2008 and then again in Congress-NC rule from 2009 to 2014 the state government showed reluctance in implementing the 74th and 73rd Constitutional amendment regarding empowerment of Panchayats, local bodies and municipalities in the state despite the pressure from Union Government from time to time.
Sources said though Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which was a collation partner of PDP in the state from 2015 to 2018 had also made the implementation of Constitutional 73rd and 74th amendment as its poll plank in both parliamentary elections of 2014 and later in Assembly elections also.
It also made the issue as apart of the resolution in its State Working Committee meeting last time and vowed to take this issue to logical conclusion. But it failed to convince its coalition partner on the issue who showed its rigidity in the implementation of 73rd and 74th amendment. The rigid attitude of PDP created an awkward position for BJP also as the Party failed to fulfil its poll promise till date.
The issue also snowballed into a big controversy as all Kashmir centric parties opposed the implementation of 73rd and 74th amendment in the State. Besides Congress was also caught in a fix as it too could not clear its stand on the issue over the years despite the fact that the Constitutional 73rd and 74th amendment was passed during its rule at Delhi. However to keep its coalition partners in good humour during its alliance with PDP and NC it did not press the demand as it should have done.
Sources said same has been case with BJP which too failed to get its alliance partner convinced during three years of its rule to get the constitutional amendments implemented by strengthening the democratic institutions at grass root level with the result the people of State had to suffer.
The dubious role played by the Kashmir centric parties in not allowing the implementation of 73rd and 74th amendments also made the penchant and local nobody elections meaningless in the State, sources added.
Sources said even the political parties never showed any sincerity especially NC and PDP in strengthening the basic institutes of democracy at grass root lever as they don't wanted that the power should be transferred to the people at grass root level which will end their hegemony to a great extent and also give a blow to their dynastic politics.
Sources said that had not been this the reason the two parties would not have come with a boycott call to the elections this time which are overdue now. The situation in Kashmir has been fluid since 1989 and when there is no harm in holding Parliamentary and Assembly elections on their exact term why the civic and Panchayat polls are being delayed and why the Kashmir Centric parties are still oppose to these elections.
These parties during normals intuition in Kashmir unto 1989 also failed to hold the local body and Panchayat elections in time and taking the advantage of un-conducive situation this time is only excuse for them, source said.
Sources said that the State by not holding those elections is losing a big chunk of Central assistance which the State could otherwise get for the development though Panchayts and local bodies. Moreover by roping common masses in democratic process at grass root level by electing village Sarpanchs and Panchs as well as corporators for municipalities the common masses will be tied in poll process and there will be direct link between a common man and the Government through these local representatives, sources added.
Sources said this will also create a trust among the people on democratic institutions and will delay a blow to separatists, their sympathisers as well as extremists who are hell bent in launching misinformation campaign in Kashmir Valley.
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