Re-iterating the demand for early restoration of democracy in J&K and holding of early assembly polls, Mr Harsh Dev Singh, Former Minister, today said that the erstwhile state was being illogically and illegitimately deprived of popular govt in violation of constitutional guarantees as well as the ‘obiter dicta’ laid down by the Apex court over the subject. “A remote-controlled system of governance could not be the solution for the woes and sufferings of the people of J&K. It’s the local leaders and local Ministers and elected MLAs who could better address the concerns of their people and bail them out from their sufferings and pains”, said Mr Singh. Despite their best efforts, the outside bureaucrats and New Delhi leaders could not be the substitute for legitimate, elected govt which alone could address the peculiar problems of the new set up in J&K”, asserted Mr Singh.

While the unprecedented power cuts and drinking water scarcity had made people’s lives a living hell, the proxy govt imposed by the centre was acting as a mute spectator. No concrete measures were being taken to address the chaotic situation, which had created massive resentment all over the UT. The situation was the same concerning other Deptts, including Health, Education, and RDD, where corruption was at its peak with no takers for the genuine concerns of the aggrieved masses. Therefore, elected representatives alone could be the panacea for the ills afflicting the UT, which had remained deprived of popular rule for the last 3½ years.

Lampooning the inordinate delay in holding Assembly elections in the new UT, Mr Singh said that the centre’s proxy rule in J&K was antithetical to democracy and amounted to a subversion of the constitution. “The constitution categorically provided a federal system of governance with timely elections for the Union and state legislatures. The people can’t be deprived of their legitimate rights to have an elected govt of their own. And if Municipal and Panchayat elections could be held in J&K, there was no justification for denying the Assembly elections. Any further delay would only amount to a violation of the Indian Constitution which the centre claims to have extended to the UT of J&K. It would further be violative of the directives of the Supreme Court, which have held that election should be completed within six months in all those States/UTs wherein the assemblies are dissolved prematurely”, divulged Harsh.