Srinagar: Congress leader Saifuddin Soz on Wednesday said by describing the alliance of mainstream political parties of Jammu and Kashmir as a “gang”, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has shown India and its democracy in poor light.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Shah asserted that Jammu and Kashmir has been and will always remain an integral part of India and termed the alliance of political parties of the Union Territory as ‘Gupkar Gang’ saying it is an “unholy global gathbandhan” against the country’s national interest.
In a series of tweets, he also questioned Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi whether they support the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), a conglomerate of regional and national political parties in Jammu and Kashmir formed to demand the restoration of the Article 370, scrapped last year.
In a statement, Soz said, “It is really unfortunate that the Home Minister, Amit Shah, had to stoop so low and call the Kashmir Mainstream a ‘Gang’!”
He has shown India and its democracy in extreme poor light when it called Kashmir mainstream’s togetherness as ‘Gupkar Gang’, the Congress leader said.
The present ruling class at the Centre has already caused “great damage” to the system of governance in India by imagining that the BJP is the only safeguard for India’s democratic system, Soz said.
“The reality is, however, quite opposite to this! The fact is that the present day governance at the Centre has brought a bad name to India and its democracy and it is now a great jolt to the entire system that togetherness of Kashmir mainstream is seen as a threat to India’s democratic system.”
“One wonders why the democratic activity by Kashmir Mainstream Parties the NC, INC, PDP, PC, ANC and others is seen as a disruption by the Home Minister and others,” he added.
If the Union Home Minister is not prepared to deal with a democratic set-up in Kashmir, would he then wait for emergence of a set-up contrary to the present democratic combination, Soz asked.
“As for J&K state, the Constitutional relationship with the Union has already received a severe setback in recent years and the damage seems to be irreparable,” he said.
Shah had said the Congress and ‘Gupkar Gang’ want to take Jammu and Kashmir back to the era of “terror and turmoil” and they “want to take away rights of Dalits, women and tribals that we have ensured by removing Article 370. This is why they’re being rejected by the people everywhere”.
“The Gupkar Gang is going global! They want foreign forces to intervene in Jammu and Kashmir. The Gupkar Gang also insults India’s Tricolour. Do Sonia Ji and Rahul Ji support such moves of the Gupkar Gang ? They should make their stand crystal clear to the people of India,” the Union home minister has said.
Candidates Not Allowed To Campaign: Omar, Mehbooba
National Conference (NC) vice-president Omar Abdullah on Wednesday alleged that candidates in fray for the District Development Council (DDC) polls beginning later this month in Jammu and Kashmir were being stopped from campaigning.
Taking to Twitter, Abdullah asked whether this was the safe and militancy-free Jammu and Kashmir Union Home Minister Amit Shah had tweeted about earlier.
“What sort of elections are being held in J&K where candidates are being stopped from campaigning? Is this the safe, terror free J&K the Home Minister was tweeting about yesterday,” Omar said.
The NC leader’s Tweet came a day after he engaged in a war of words with Home Minister after he termed the newly formed alliance of seven mainstream parties as ‘Gupkar Gang’.
Meanwhile, former Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti has also alleged that non-BJP candidates for DDC polls were not being allowed to campaign freely and are being locked on the pretext of security.
“Non BJP candidates for DDC polls aren’t allowed to campaign freely & are being locked up on the pretence of security. But BJP & its proxies are given full bandobast to move around. Is this the democracy that GOI claimed its promoting in yesterday’s phone convo with US Pres elect?” she tweeted
PAGD Accuses Returning Officer Of Bias
The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) on Wednesday accused the returning officer of a district development council (DDC) constituency in Khanmoh of bias and alleged that he tried to reject the nomination of their candidate a few hours after accepting it.
“Our candidate was given an acceptance form after scrutiny at 12:15 pm (Tuesday). He was given an authority letter to open a bank account and was also given an expenditure register. Then around 5 pm, he was called to the office and the same officer, who had earlier written ‘accepted’ in a column in the form, wrote ‘not’ before the word ‘accepted’ and tried to write rejected as well,” PAGD leader Muzaffar Shah said at a press conference here.
Shah, who is the senior vice-president of Awami National Conference (ANC), was flanked by Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement (JKPMM) president Javaid Mustafa Mir.
Both the parties are part of the PAGD and the alliance has given the mandate to the ANC to contest the DDC polls from the constituency.
Shah said it was a blot on the whole election process and the Election Commission should take immediate notice of the issue.
“This is forgery. It is a blot of the whole election system and the chief election commissioner should take note and act immediately, he said.
Shah said the PAGD leaders had raised the issue with the District Election Officer.
The district development council election in Jammu and Kashmir will begin later this month.
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