Facing threat of mainstream political parties boycotting panchayat and local bodies elections in Jammu and Kashmir, Governor Satya Pal Malik appealed to all elected representatives to join hands with the government for development and addressing needs of public in every nook and corner of the state.
Malik’s appeal came a day after the National Conference and Awami National Conference decided to boycott the elections that have been delayed by two years. Moreover, senior PDP leaders have also threatened boycott of elections if the Centre went ahead with attempts to tinker with Article 35A.
The Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) terror outfit and the pro-Pakistan separatists had in separate diktats last week warned people not to participate in the coming elections.
In his appeal late Wednesday evening, Malik said: “Elected representatives, being custodians of ‘public interest’, have an enormous responsibility to project concerns, problems and priorities of their constituents before the government for redressal in a time-bound manner”.
The statement has been interpreted by observers as Malik’s intentions to keep the political network on board on vital issues.
Malik also informed, “the government has approved setting up of J&K Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (JKIDFC). Through JKIFDC, the government will spend up to Rs 8000 crore on completing languishing infrastructure projects seen all over the State. Many of them have been started several years ago and being left incomplete they have caused great inconvenience to the people”.
He appealed to the elected representatives to identify and prioritise all incomplete works that were critical for their constituencies. “Elected representatives are further requested to project ongoing or incomplete developmental projects in their constituencies which are in different stages of execution and require funding for timely completion. These could be roads, bridges, drinking water schemes, school buildings or medical facilities,” he added.
It may be mentioned that soon after taking over as state Governor, Malik restored constituency development fund MLAs’ right to inaugurate projects.
They had been withdrawn by his predecessor NN Vohra after the state Assembly was placed under suspended animation following imposition of Governor’s rule.