It also called for free and fair elections to the Block Development Councils (BDC), scheduled to be held on October 24, besides ensuring that reasonable political space is given to all opposition parties.
Accusing the BJP of weakening the democratic institutions in Jammu and Kashmir, the National Panthers Party (NPP) on Sunday sought the intervention of President Ram Nath Kovind to uphold “constitutional guarantees” in the state. It also called for free and fair elections to the Block Development Councils (BDC), scheduled to be held on October 24, besides ensuring that reasonable political space is given to all opposition parties.
“There is widespread feeling in J&K that the state is heading towards one party system with the ruling BJP denying reasonable political space to the opposition parties. Democracy in the state is on a ventilator desperately gasping for breath,” the NPP said in a petition submitted by its chairman and former minister Harsh Dev Singh to the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
“Not only are the political parties scared of the dictatorial regime but the people in general are invariably reluctant to ventilate their feelings for fear of reprisals,” the petition said. The NPP further claimed that the state has been the victim of the wicked politicking of successive regimes over the past seven decades.
It also said that several decisions which are the prerogative of an elected legislature have been taken by the executive by defying the set protocols and precedents. “The elections to legislative Assembly continue to be postponed so as to suit the political expediencies of the ruling party at the centre. And while the BDC elections under Panchayati Raj system have been announced, the opposition leaders were hardly taken into confidence with majority of them still kept under preventive detentions,” it said.
“The internet mobiles services have been banned in Jammu region as well despite it being peaceful. And none dare raise his voice against the undemocratic and totalitarian moves of the government lest he shall be dubbed as anti national or even put behind bars,” the NPP said.