Centre trying to further delay J&K polls: Farooq Abdullah

Centre trying to further delay J&K polls: Farooq Abdullah
Lok Sabha member and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, Farooq Abdullah. Source: IANS

Jammu, Dec 8 (IANS) Lok Sabha member and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday alleged that the Central government was mulling another extension to the delimitation commission thereby deviating from its promise that the commission would get no further extension beyond March 6, 2022.

Abdullah while addressing a convention of National Conference (NC), OBC cell, said: "Being members of the Commission, we were neither invited nor shown any preliminary report.

"People of Jammu and Kashmir cannot wait anymore as there is no alternative to the popular government. The people have lost their patience due to mis-governance of authoritarian and bureaucratic rule.

"There can be no substitute to the elections and the way the government is dilly dallying the delimitation report, it appears they have no intention to hold polls in near future".

Abdullah also dismissed the claims of normalcy in the Kashmir Valley, saying they (the central leaders) remained in denial over the leaving of Kashmiri Pandits from Kashmir in the wake of recent civilian killings.

"They are also misleading about the tourism revival and the height is that nobody in the media is mustering courage to report objectively and fearlessly as they are being slapped with serious charges for reporting facts," he alleged.

He expressed concern and anguish over alleged unprecedented media gauge and called for bringing a legislation for ensuring complete freedom to the press with a caveat that nothing should be reported that can jeopardise the communal harmony and brotherhood.

"How can you expect a free press when the media houses are starved for advertisements in case they report against the interests of the government.

"The media should have the freedom to voice the concerns of the people freely and fearlessly. I always encouraged a free media because it is the essence of democracy", he said.

Referring to the resolutions passed by the OBC Cell with regard to, inter alia, restoration of special status and statehood to Jammu and Kashmir, Abdullah said the people will fight peacefully and democratically for their rights with a sense of commitment. They will weather all the storms and shall remain steadfast in getting back what has been snatched from them, he added.

Earlier, the convention adopted three resolutions -- seeking rollback of the revocation of Article 370 to Jammu and Kashmir and restoration of statehood, issuance of one-time category certificate to OBCs and political reservation for these communities on the analogy of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities.