‘People don’t know who is contesting from which ward’
SRINAGAR: National Conference on Monday said the ongoing ULB polls have turned out to be “an exercise in waste” as first phase of polling has witnessed a record low poll percentage in the valley with “as many as 215 candidates getting elected unopposed and 177 wards having no candidates”.
In a statement, NC provincial spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar said the whole (election) process has been superimposed on the state without taking into consideration the ground realities.
“It is an inconsiderate exercise to hold ULB polls in the valley. The institutions of the state are being bulldozed and played with just to satiate the arrogance of those who continue to target the state’s special status and don’t want normalcy to return to the state,” he said .
He said the elections are like festivals of democracy which induce new life in a nation’s life but the ongoing polls have cast a shadow on the very roots of democracy in the state.
Questioning the validity of the poll process, Imran said, “The whole exercise of conducting polls has turned out to be a crude joke. In most of the wards, people simply don’t know who is contesting from their wards as contestants are putting up in guarded hotels within Srinagar and other areas. They have not even gone into their areas seeking votes. Even the names of the candidates were never released by the election commission. Is this what their idea of democracy is?”
The provincial spokesperson also said the whole process is turning out to be a “farce” and that the number of candidates who have won unopposed for the want of other candidates is very large. “It is share mockery of the democratic process. National conference will withstand such idiocy peacefully and in a democratic way,” he said.
“With major mainstream political parties not in the fray, the idea of having a participatory democracy stands defeated in the state. If we compare the figures of last Panchayat elections held in the state in 2011, the poll percentage in the ongoing ULB polls is its pale shadow. In 2011, Panchayat polls saw over 80 percent polling in the valley,” Imran added.
“From some places in south Kashmir, reports about BJP functionaries coercing people to contest the ULB elections are pouring in. Such incidents are shameful and need to be investigated thoroughly by the states security apparatus,” the NC spokesperson said.