Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 24
A day after the JK District Development Council poll results, with the Gupkar Alliance ahead of the BJP, the NC on Thursday alleged that the local administration was trying to influence the Independents to side with the BJP. The Independents can influence council formation in three districts in the Valley and two in Jammu.
Pressure on INDs
The entire (poll) exercise will be futile if you do not intervene immediately and forcefully as many Independent winning candidates are being coaxed and coerced into joining a certain political party
The Gupkar Alliance and the BJP have bagged a majority in six districts each in Kashmir and Jammu, respectively. The Gupkar allies hope to form councils in 9 districts of Kashmir, barring Srinagar, and four of Jammu. NC vice-chairman Omar Abdullah today alleged the verdict of the people was being undermined.
“The administration has taken on the responsibility of trying to collect Independent candidates for the BJP and its recently formed subsidiary. A former MLC from South Kashmir has been taken away by cops to stop him from contacting Independent DDC members. At the same time the authorities are transporting some of these Independent to Srinagar for talks,” Omar claimed.
NC general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar petitioned State Election Commissioner (SEC) KK Sharma, urging him to “save the sanctity of elections” and noting that “while DDC elections passed uneventfully, the exercise will be futile if you do not intervene immediately and forcefully, as many Independent winning candidates are being coaxed and coerced into joining a certain political party.”
The issue was taken up at the first post-poll meeting of the Gupkar alliance today. Alliance spokesperson Sajjad Lone later warned the authorities against “disrespecting” the mandate. “There are disturbing reports of the government acting in a partisan manner, directly or indirectly facilitating moves by some people to woo Independents… They must not humiliate the people’s mandate,” Lone said after the meeting. Citing ill-health, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti skipped the meeting. Her party vote share in the valley fell to a mere 4.4 per cent in the DDC poll. Omar said the plan ahead was to execute the people’s mandate for “undoing the unconstitutional and unjust changes” in J&K on August 5, 2019. “The NC will pursuing its agenda through legal and constitutional means”, he said.