Avenge humiliation by coalition; Mufti to village heads

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 11/24/2012 10:30:29 PM

`None can buy Panches, Sarpanches’

JAMMU, Nov 24: Former Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed today exhorted the elected Panches and Sarpanches to avenge their humiliation at the hands of NC-Congress coalition by ensuring crushing defeat to its candidates for Legislative Council elections from the quota of Panchayat.
While addressing one day party convention of prominent party workers of Jammu province here today, Mufti accused the coalition government of undermining all democratic institutions including the Panchayats. He cautioned the Panchayat members against, what he said, “deceit tactics of the government which could go to any extent to make false promises with them (Panchayat members) to get their votes.”
“Panchayati Raj Institution is base of our democratic system and would not allow this vital institution of democracy to die at any cost,” PDP patron said.
“Inhonay (Coalition Government Nay) Jaan Bujh Kar Party Base Par Election Nahin Karwaaya. Yeh Inko (village Heads Ko) Ghaas Phoos Samajhati Hai….(The coalition deliberately did not conduct Panchayat elections on party basis. Reason being it treats the village heads as non-entity). It was under this impression that it could control them, mould and use them at its whims. However it woke up from its reveries when last year PDP held a conference of village heads at Srinagar and around 8500 Panches, Sarpanches participated. It wanted to bring them too to its hold by hook or crook,” Mufti stated.
Former Chief Minister said that the Panches and Sarpanches were not non-entities as they were being treated by the coalition government.
“They too are elected representatives who were elected by the people ignoring threats against participation in Panchayat elections from different quarters and ensured 80 percent participation. Still they were being not given their due honour rather were being treated with contemptuous disregard. Kabhi Mantri Bulaata Hai Kabhi CM Bulaata Hai…Unhay Bandar Bana Rakha Hai….But no step has been and is being taken for their empowerment. This is not done…..this is insult for them. These leaders (village heads) are like fish who cannot live without (outside) water i.e., people,” he said.
He cautioned the elected Sapanches and Panches that they were an institution and thus they should not allow the coalition to undermine their prestige. “Aapko Koi Khareed Nahin Sakta….(None can buy you). You need to assert your position by teaching the coalition a lesson for undermining your institution,” Mufti exhorted the village heads.
PDP patron said, “It was historical fact that whenever National Conference (NC) came to power it eroded sanctity of democratic institutions and the last act of the NC was undermining Panchayats in the State. Panchayat elections were held about one and half year back. But government has not taken any step to empower the Panchayats. The decision to cancel Block Development Council elections also exposed double standard of the government headed by Omar Abdullah. People of the State are looking towards PDP to get them rid from the yoke of the present NC-Congress regime which during the last four years has done nothing except promises with the people.”
Seeking support of the Panches and Sarpanches for party candidates contesting elections as party candidate for Legislative Council elections from the quota of Panchayat, Mufti flayed the coalition regime headed by Omar Abdullah for undermining Panchayats and other democratic institutions in the State.
Highlighting achievements of the previous PDP-Congress regime, he said, “Our party had convinced successive governments at Delhi, through our convictions, to initiate some bold Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) to restore lasting peace in this region.” He mentioned that PDP had entered into alliance with Congress by formulating a Common Minimum Programme (CMP) in which wishes of all people were incorporated and pro-peace agenda was given first priority.
He recalled that before 2002 there was a sense of fear and insecurity among the masses but after formation of PDP-Congress government peace was restored to a large extent. PDP was formed in 1999 with an aim to restore peace and to uphold dignity and honour of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. “Aim of PDP is not to attain power but to address grievances of the people,” he said and observed that biggest achievement of his party was that it had connected itself with the common masses and restored confidence of the people in democratic institutions.
Mufti reminded that District Development Boards (DDBs) were the institutions which were created to ensure balance development with the involvement of elected representatives but the present regime also eroded such institutions also. Pointing towards rampant corruption in the state, he observed that governance deficit was the main reason of increasing alienation of the people. “Corruption has crossed all limits due to lack of transparency and accountability in the government,” he said.
Pointing towards day today problems being faced by the people due to misgovernance and prevailing corruption, Mufti said, “People are not getting enough ration to feed their families. To add to the woes is the cumbersome process adopted in LPG gas registration and its unavailability. However the state government has failed to provide any relief to the people regarding LPG crisis.”
He appealed to all Sarpanches, Panches and people especially the youth to support PDP’s struggle for change so that party’s vision of a peaceful prosperous Jammu and Kashmir could be achieved.



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