National Conference President Dr. Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday slammed the center for delaying assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir by granting an extension to the delimitation commission.
Addressing a meeting of the OBC cell of the NC here, Abdullah accused the center of deviating from its promise and assurance that there will be no extension to the Delimitation Commission beyond March 6, 2022, for submitting its report to enable elections to the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly.
“Being members of the Commission, we were neither invited nor shown any preliminary report”, Abdullah said.
Abdullah said the people of Jammu and Kashmir cannot wait anymore as there is no alternative to the popular government. The people have lost their patience due to “misgovernance of authoritarian and bureaucratic rule”. There can be no substitute to the elections and the way the government is dilly-dallying the delimitation report, it appears they have no intention to hold polls in near future, he said and lamented over false promises being made on a regular basis.
The NC President also rubbished the claims of normalcy in the valley, saying they (the central leaders) remained in denial over the leaving of Kashmiri Pandits from Kashmir in the wake of recent civilian killings. They are also misleading about the tourism revival and the height is that nobody in the media is mustering the courage to report objectively and fearlessly as they are being slapped with serious charges for reporting facts, he alleged.
He expressed concern and anguish over “unprecedented media gauge” and called for bringing legislation for ensuring complete freedom to the press with a caveat that nothing should be reported that can jeopardize communal harmony and brotherhood.
“How can you expect a free press when the media houses are starved for advertisements in case they report against the interests of the government”, Dr. Farooq Abdullah said, adding that the media should have the freedom to voice the concerns of the people freely and fearlessly. Abdullah said he has always encouraged free media because it is the essence of democracy.