Asserting that a legitimate elected government alone was the panacea for the ills afflicting governance in J&K, Chairman-JKNPP & former Minister Harsh Dev Singh, called for holding of Assembly elections in J&K without any further delay. He regretted that delimitation exercise was being willfully delayed as the centre was least interested in restoring democratic process in J&K which had been converted into Union Territory (UT) last year.
Harsh Dev Singh said that bureaucratic rule had proved an utter failure in J&K with corruption having become all pervasive and development having taken a back seat. “The people had no access to the corridors of power. There were no takers for the grievances of common man. The bureaucrats and Advisors enjoyed unbridled powers and authority sans accountability. They not only avoided interactions with people and their representatives but even refused to take feedback on ground realities through telephonic calls and communications. The general development scenario was deteriorating day by day with escalation in militancy related activities. The govt had lost contact with the masses thus aggravating the woes of common man who felt isolated and betrayed. With none in the power corridors to respond to the shrill cries of varied sections of society for justice, the erstwhile State was fast converting into a cauldron of unrest”, asserted Singh.
Claiming that militancy was once again in revival mode in J&K, Singh said that handing over reins of power to outside bureaucrats was not the solution to the peculiar problems faced by J&K. “The present challenges could be effectively countered only by an elected government which enjoys the confidence and the mandate of the people. The rise in militant related incidents in J&K is a cause of concern. Though our security forces are effectively responding to the onslaughts of Pak sponsored militants, the role of political executive can’t be undermined. The political parties need to be given due space by lifting of all restrictions related a political activity by paving the way for democratic government. The government must ensure a level playing field to all political parties with an end to harassment and persecution of its political opponents. The Centre must appreciate that competitive mainstream politics alone can be the antidote to extreme violence. We can’t afford to lose precious lives any more. We can’t allow ourselves to be ruled by those who are not only inaccessible but unaware of our requirements and developmental priorities. We can’t allow outside bureaucrats to continue to rule us for infinite period in defiance of the fundamentals of democracy and principles of Constitution”, he added.