Srinagar: Opposition National Conference today attacked Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti over deferment of Anantnag Assembly bypoll at the state government’s behest, saying she had hurt the state’s interests by portraying a “negative” image just because she was “terrified” to contest.
“By this declaration of lack of normalcy in the Valley, Mehbooba Mufti has seriously damaged the pace and potential of economic recovery in Kashmir after the devastating floods of 2014,” National Conference spokesman Junaid Azim Mattu said here.
“Rather than showcasing Kashmir in a positive light in the rest of the country which is the need of the hour, Mehbooba Mufti has unfortunately chosen to augment the negative stereotype of perpetual violence and political strife in Kashmir in order to run away from her own election to the Legislative Assembly,” he added.
He was commenting on the postponement of bypoll to the prestigious Anantnag Assembly seat announced by the Election Commission yesterday after the Jammu and Kashmir government said the law and order situation there was “not conducive”.
The seat has fallen vacant because of the demise of former Chief Minister and MLA Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on January 7.
Mehbooba, who succeeded her later father Sayeed as Chief Minister, is a Lok Sabha member from Anantnag and was expected to contest for the Assembly seat.
Mehbooba has “put the state’s tourism industry in particular, and economy in general, in peril by misleading the Election Commission and consequently the entire country into believing that situation in the Valley was tense and unstable,” Mattu said.
He said the government’s “desperate, last-minute move of seeking deferment” of the bypoll was “a clear sign of PDP’s fear of reprisal on the grassroots level after its political surrenders and successive U-turns on all its promises.”
Meanwhile NC Provincial President Devender Singh Rana described PDP-BJP Government’s SOS over seeking Ananntage bye-elections postponed as a major sign of panic and frustration due to disenchantment of people.
Speaking at one day convention on NC’s Women Convenction, Rana termed the decision of getting election to Anantnag Assembly Constituency, postponed as public acknowledgment of defeat.
“The decision it totally political, as the PDP-BJP are seeing writing on the wall and humiliating defeat on the anvil, in view of public resentment”, he said, adding that the present dispensation has no moral right to govern after finding themselves distanced from the people.
Rana said that such a scenario has first time emerged in electoral history of the state when a party claiming mandate of the people is shying away in facing them in elections due to its betrayal. “ By invoking security situation as reason for delaying the election, the government has not only exposed its fragility but also put a big question mark on its own credibility”, he said adding that the situation in South Kashmir is in no way hostile to holding the elections. He said National Conference had welcomed the move of Election Commission to hold the polls in this important constituency next month, as it was confident to win with massive public support.