Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today accused Jammu and Kashmir administration and the police of subverting the recent results of the District Development Council (DDC) polls by forcing elected council members to join Apni Party.
Omar and other leaders have been calling Apni Party as the BJP’s B-team in Jammu and Kashmir. Apni Party has only 12 seats in the just-concluded DDC polls.
Omar said after the DDC results, some government officials have started interfering. He said people are being arrested and threatened to make the chairman of the DDC other than from the People’s Alliance in those districts where the alliance is all set to form the council. “They have started it from Shopian,” he said.
He said National Conference Shopian district president Showkat Ganai and segment in-charge, Shabir Ahmad Kulay, have been taken into preventive custody.
“Now we realise why they are being taken into custody. Because one by one elected DDC members from Shopian are brought to Srinagar and being forced to join Apni Party. They are doing it with Independents, PDP and Congress members. Now, unfortunately, yesterday, an NC member who had won from Shopian, was forced to join Apni Party,” Omar said.
Omar said an elected DDC member’s brother was taken into custody and later her husband was told that he should make his wife join Apni Party to see her brother released. He said she was brought to Srinagar and was garlanded by the Apni Party leader announcing her entry into Apni Party. “Thus democracy was murdered,” he added.
He said people have given their verdict and the government should accept it. “People have given the majority of the seats to the People’s Alliance. We don’t know why the BJP, J&K government, the central government and Apni Party are not accepting the verdict.”
“We urge both the J&K government and the Centre not to subvert democracy in J&K. Jammu and Kashmir has already paid a huge price for it. The Prime Minister says that these elections have given rebirth to democracy in J&K. So, we request that they should tell their administration, their police and civil officers not to interfere with the DDC results,” Omar said.
He said the BJP and the government are saying the district development council poll is a huge win for democracy. “Even today the Prime Minister was inaugurating a programme regarding the health services, along with other things he also talked about these elections and described them as a win for democracy. If in reality, the democracy has won, the next step ought to be democratic,” Omar said.
He called for making the implementation of anti-defection law applicable to the elected district development councillors. “Disqualify the member under anti-defection law and hold an election there again tomorrow, we will see who stands where,” he added.
On March 8 this year, Apni Party was formed by former PDP leader Altaf Bukhari. On March 14, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met a 24-member delegation from newly formed Jammu & Kashmir’s Apni Party led by Altaf Bukhari at Lok Kalyan Marg in New Delhi. A day later, on March 15, Apni Party met Union home minister Amit Shah.
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