NC attacks CM for seeking deferment of Anantnag bypoll

Srinagar: Opposition National Conference on Friday 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.”

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