Jammu & Kashmir

PAGD knocks door of SEC to complain that its candidates are not allowed to campaign

Farooq Abdullah accuses administration of interfering in democracy

Srinagar, Nov 21: The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) has written to Jammu and Kashmir’s State Election Commissioner (SEC) K.K. Sharma to complain that the candidates put by seven-party conglomerate are not allowed to campaign.

In a letter, a copy of which is with the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), PAGD chairman and National Conference (NC) President Dr. Farooq Abdullah has written to K.K. Sharma that 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,” reads the letter.

The PAGD has further written that security challenges are not new in J&K and successive regimes in J&K  had structures in place which ensured security for all contestants irrespective of the ideology they espoused or the parties they represented.

 “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. Our parties have been in power in the past and have had the opportunity to head and run the government. We 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,” it states.

The PAGD has alleged that 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,” reads the letter.

 “May I add that the evolution of democracy in J and K is distinctive compared to any other part of the country? The journey 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 J and K. Governments come and go.

No government has the right to alter the institutional foundations of democracy in J and K, nourished by the sacrifices of thousands of political workers,” the letter reads.

Farooq has written that “providing security to a select few and literally interning the rest is a gross interference in democracy”—(KNO)

 

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