Jammu, Oct 26 2018
National Conference Provincial President Devender Singh Rana on Friday described fake jubilation of the BJP over the just concluded Urban Local Bodies elections in Jammu and Kashmir as hilarious, saying that the poll-result data speaks volumes about its rejection, especially by the people of Jammu.
“The BJP vote share has drastically dropped by less than half in the three pivotal city constituencies, constituting 76 wards of the Jammu Municipal Corporation, and still its leaders are gloating and celebrating”, Rana said at a press conference held at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan here this afternoon.
Citing the poll outcome data of the JMC, he said the BJP got 1,48,061 votes in Gandhi Nagar, Jammu East and Jammu West segments in 2014 assembly elections and on the contrary it managed less than half the number of 75,578 votes in the recent elections, a drop of nearly 51 per cent in vote share despite the number of votes having increased.
Similarly, he said the BJP stands decimated in Udhampur and Kathua districts, key components of the Jammu-Doda Parliamentary Constituency with the saving grace only in Hiranagar Municipal Committee.
Rana wondered over the BJP leaders ill-conceived observations about National Conference having been taught in lesson by the people in ULB elections and said the party needs to do some sort of introspection. Due to its inept policies and mishandling of the situation in partnership of the PDP, the BJP created a situation in 2017 by-elections to Srinagar and Anantnag Parliamentary constituencies which witnessed just 7.13 per cent polls in Srinagar and cancellation of the Anantnag seat.
Showing the mirror to the BJP, he said the State witnessed massive participation in both parliamentary and assembly elections of 2014 due to the conducive situation created by the then Omar Abdullah led government. While 26 per cent votes were polled in Srinagar parliamentary constituency, 28 per cent votes were polled in Anantnag in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Similarly, the 2014 assembly elections saw lowest percentage of 49 and highest 76 per cent, which speaks about the governance, he said adding that this time around little over three percent polling was held in the Valley.
He described the outburst of the BJP leaders as a sign of frustration and guilt conscience in the backdrop of the conduct of elections, especially in the Valley.
Rana said the governance deficit of over three years under BJP partnered government steered Jammu and Kashmir to a situation where the National Conference was constrained to stay away from the grass-roots level elections due to rigidity of the governments both at the Centre and in the State over vital Article 35A.
He said the dubious and ambiguous stance of the BJP precipitated the situation and added to the volatile scenario of over three years.
On the elections held in the Valley, the Provincial President said that these can be summed up as unique and unheard of polls, which saw the only wrestler in the ring, spelling the rules and deciding the win in bouts. He said these elections will go as a very bad chapter in the democratic history of the State.
To a question, Rana said that the National Conference is a strong votary of democratic process and has always worked to uphold democracy in Jammu and Kashmir. He said the party stayed away over the issue of Article 35A, adding that for a larger cause such sacrifices become imperative at times.
He described the state subject laws as a rich legacy bequeathed to the posterity by Maharaja Hari Singh and said a growing consciousness is dawning upon the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, especially the Dogras of Jammu, with regard to their rights and the likely subjugation they might suffer in the event of these laws are dispensed with.
When asked about the Accession Day, the Provincial President said “We are part of the accession but we strongly believe that the conditions and constitutional guarantees set in the Instrument of Accession, which are its basic tenets, should not only be preserved but protected and upheld as well.
He also took the detractors of autonomy head on, saying due to ignorance some of them are deliberately trying to create a mischievous perception that the historical document tantamount to Aazdi. This, he said, it is an orchestrated campaign with malicious intent.
“Those elements engaged in sinister campaign over the issue of autonomy know fully well that the document emphatically spells out autonomy within the ambit of Constitution of India”, he said adding that the campaign being launched by them is not out of ignorance because they realize that anything that is under the ambit of constitution cannot be Azadi.
He said the BJP has all along exploited the public sentiment and warned that they can fool the people one time but not all the time. He said the BJP stands exposed before the people of Jammu and Kashmir for its dubious and exploitive politics.
Rana was flanked by National Conference State Secretaries Surjeet Singh Slathia and Rattan Lal Gupta besides other senior leaders.
They included former legislators Brij Mohan Sharma, T S Wazir, Th Kashmira Singh, Sheikh Bashir Ahmed, Bimla Luthra, Depinder Kour, Haji Mohammed Hussain besides Vijay Laxmi Dutta, Choudhry Haroon, Jugal Mahajan, Dharamveer Singh Jamwal, Vijay Lochan, S S Bunty, Rita Gupta, Rakesh Singh Raka, M L Munshi, Sanjay Gupta, G H Malik, Somraj Taroch and others.