Public perception, not money power makes parties
SRINAGAR – Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has said political parties lacking vision; efficiency and integrity need nothing else to lose the confidence of people. Addressing a workers meeting of Chadoora constituency today he said National conference does not need anybodys moneybags to degenerate further as long as its policies remain anti people and focussed on personal ambition and wealth.
Mufti said National Conference has remained the main political force in the state for decades and therefore cannot escape responsibility for the systemic mess and sufferings of people. If democracy remained weak in Jammu and Kashmir it was essentially because the NC began its rule by denying free elections to constituent Assembly, the first democratic institution secured by the people after a long struggle Mufti said. He added that the party continued in the same tradition and did not allow a free election even in 1987 pushing the state into its worst crisis that resulted in immense loss of life, property and dignity. It is sad that instead of doing an introspection and trying to rebuild its image through dedicated and purposeful service of people the ruling party is indulging in mudslinging on its opponents he said.
Describing the emergence of PDP as part of a natural democratic process, Mufti said the NC is unnerved by the prospect of losing power which is a very routine thing in any democracy. Whereas it should have spurred the ruling party to improve its performance for a democratic competition, Mufti said the NC resorted to gimmicks and strong arm tactics. As a result, development has degenerated into photo opportunities for politicians, political process reduced to sloganeering and governance into a disaster the latest status of which is reflected in long queues of gas consumers in freezing cold, Mufti added. He said the media is facing unstated curbs, opposition leaders are not allowed even to offer prayers and thousands of youth are framed in false cases. Power deficiency has assumed the dimensions of a crisis even as the tariff has been raised manifold during the last four years and it is getting only worse with the advent of winter, he said.
Mufti said if the PDP is gaining any ground among the people it is because of its policies, agenda, vision and performance during its brief tenure as part of a coalition. He said the disillusionment of people with the NC led government has strong reasons behind it and that party cannot wish away either the PDP or the fall out of its own misdeeds by cursing its opponents or spinning stories of conspiracy. He said in todays world it is not possible to erase events like the mysterious death of Haji Yousuf or multicrore swindle in cricket association from public mind even though the agencies of state are used to hush them up, Mufti said adding it is the public perception that makes and breaks parties and not money power or the tag of an old organisation.
Elaborating on the PDP policies and agenda, Mufti said even though the party had just 16 seats in 2002 it did not jump in haste to grab power at any cost. He said the party held detailed deliberations with the congress to work out a common minimum program that had the resolution of Kashmir issues as its main plank apart from other economic, administrative and political issues on it. Mufti said the foundation for the failure of present government was laid on its very inauguration as NC in its capacity as the major partner pounced on power like a hungry person without devising any program for governance and it is no wonder that this government has disappointed even its strong supporters. He said PDPs vision for J&K is enshrined in its self rule formulation that offers a practical solution to its political, economic and administrative problems.
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