Opposition leaders in Jammu and Kashmir today clashed with those of ruling PDP and BJP during a meeting convened by the state Chief Electoral Officer to solicit the views of political parties on postponing the Anantnag polls and repolling in some booths in Srinagar. During the meeting National Conference leaders objected to the statement of PDP’s representative Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra who reiterated views of its candidate Mufti Tassadaq demanding postponing of elections to Anantnag. The National Conference represented by senior leaders Ali Mohammed Sagar and Akbar Lone said that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti should tender her resignation for failing to ensure peaceful elections in the Kashmir valley.
The delegation said the remarks of Hussain was a clear and unambiguous indictment of his sister Mehbooba and her government and her abject and total failure to govern the state. “Based on the fact that her own brother and her party’s parliamentary candidate has clearly declared the PDP-BJP government a complete failure, Mehbooba Mufti has lost the moral right to continue in her chair. “The moment PDP made an emergency appeal for the deferment of elections in Anantnag, the PDP-BJP government became untenable and illegitimate in the state. The chief minister should tender her resignation without any further delay,” the delegation said.
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Lone also entered into a verbal dual with BJP representative and Parra and accused them of blatantly lying to the people of the state. “Before claiming credit here to hold elections, they should have consulted their masters in Delhi. We had objected to holding of elections but she (Mehbooba) had claimed that the situation was right,” he said.
Later, National Conference complained to the Election Commission about the presence of Parra at the meeting as he was a government servant.
When contacted, Parra said he represented the youth wing of the PDP and added that was a member secretary of Jammu and Kashmir State Sports Council from where he was getting an honorarium.
Congress candidate from Anantnag G A Mir, who could not attend the meeting, said his party was not in favour of postponing the elections. “When we objected to it earlier, no one paid any heed. Since Mufti Tasaduq has sensed defeat, he is finding ways and means to run away from the contest. “He should hold his own sister responsible for this,” he said.
According to an official release of the state Election Commission, CEO Shantmanu had briefed the Chief Election Commission in the morning and later submitted a report after holding a meeting with political parties. “Chief Electoral Officer is submitting a report to Election Commission of India this evening pursuant to proceedings of all party meeting based on which a decision is expected by tomorrow,” the release said.