Srinagar: The All Parties Sikh Co-ordination Committee (APSCC) on Thursday said that unlike in previous elections when the Sikh community was asked to vote for a particular party, this time no political party will be supported in the by-elections for two Lok Sabha seats in April.
Addressing a gathering here, the members of APSCC said that all the political partied have deceived them by making hollow promises and by ditching the long-pending demands of the Sikhs. The members said that Sikhs are free to vote for any candidate or to not vote at all.
“In the election manifesto of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), they had promised minority status to Sikhs in J&K. They had even promised to extend the National Commission for Minority Act to J&K. But once they came into power, they forgot their promise,” the APSSC said.
Accusing the PDP of double standards, the APSCC said that the ruling party recently opposed the granting of minority status to Sikhs in the Supreme Court.
“PDP has virtually backtracked from its pre-poll promise of 2014. It is, in fact, taking steps quite contrary to the poll manifesto. It (PDP) should thank the Sikh community for its win in several constituencies that were bastions of National Conference,” the APSCC said.
The Sikh body said that both the ruling and the opposition parties were trying to “befool people”. “We see nobody as sincere in their promises,” the APSCC said.
Referring to the Indian state of Haryana where an agitation was carried out by the Jat community demanding reservations, the members of the APSCC said that the agitations led to the devastation of Haryana and a similar agitation cannot be ruled out in J&K.
“If our demands are not met, we may be forced to carry out an agitation against the government. With a good number of Sikhs living in Jammu region, one cannot rule out an agitation in that region,” they said.
Asking for an immediate dialogue with concerned stakeholders for normalising the situation in Kashmir, the Sikh organisation said that brute action against protesters would bear no results and would instead alienate Kashmiris, particularly youth, from the mainstream.