Srinagar has to drive the movement for change: Mufti

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Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today said that J&K is at the threshold of a momentous change and Srinagar has to be part of this movement as this historic city and its enterprising inhabitants have been the worst victims of NC’s exploitative politics.

“I am seeing that the State’s people in general and the youth in particular are energetically enthusiastic about change and I hope that the emancipated residents of Srinagar would be on the forefront of this movement in the interest of J&K’s political stability and economic prosperity,” Sayeed said while addressing a series of public meetings in Sonawar Assembly segment of Srinagar-Budgam Parliamentary constituency.

“It is heartening to note that instead of remaining dormant recipients of political decisions, the State’s youth are taking charge of the political decision-making process to lay strong foundations for peaceful and progressive Jammu & Kashmir through democratic means,” he said.

PDP patron said people of Srinagar owe it to themselves and fellow countrymen, not to let their power to determine the State’s destiny, be misused by NC again. “It was as a result of low voting percentage in Srinagar in 2008 assembly polls that NC was able to manipulate numbers against the public sentiment,” he said adding; “Let that not happen this time.”

Accusing NC of having exploited the public sentiment throughout its existence and not learnt any lessons from either its own follies or the plight of the State, Sayeed said it is because of NC’s exploitative politics that the successive generations of our people had to suffer worst kind of deprivation, violence and powerlessness.

Sayeed said it was for the people to judge the performance of different parties and leaders. Though PDP had been in the field only for less than a decade, this party, he said has brought changes of fundamental nature into the State’s political and economic system. “Not only did we provide a credible political alternative, but PDP can humbly claim that it has tried its best, and succeeded to a large extent, in providing the best government ever to the people, albeit for a very brief stint between 2002 and 2005,” he said.

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Sayeed said while PDP had laid the foundation for pulling J&K out of the quagmire of political instability and economic deprivation, the clock was, unfortunately, turned back by the NC-Congress coalition government headed by Omar Abdullah. “Killings, arrests, crackdowns, enforced poll boycotts and misgovernance will only take us back to wherefrom we had pulled the State out in 2002,” he said and cautioned of imminent disaster if the cycle of alienation engineered by NC is not addressed immediately.

Sayeed said having suffered immensely under the present anarchist dispensation, that has become a symbol of repression, political chaos, rampant corruption, administrative anarchy and denial of justice, J&K today needs, more than ever before, a caring administration, which only a truly committed political party can provide.

Expressing dismay over the developmental deficit Srinagar has suffered during the past 6 years, Sayeed said while PDP led government had initiated some major infrastructural projects for the socio-economic uplift of the City including Rapid Transport System, drainage network, beautification and conservation programme for Dal Lake and other water bodies, upgradation of tourism facilities, establishment of new institutions, creation of employment avenues etc, the same were shelved by the present government.

“All major projects and schemes started by the previous coalition government were either shelved or became victim of inefficiency, red tape and corruption,” he said and added that key infrastructural interventions like the Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Programme and ADB funded fly-over and drainage projects ran into problems due to the casual approach of the present dispensation. “No wonder the City has turned into a cesspool today amid a gloomy scenario of traffic snarls, water logging, power scarcity, institutional decay, socio-economic distress and rampant unemployment visible all around,” he said.

Seeking support for Tariq Hameed Karra, PDP’s candidate for Srinagar Parliamentary constituency, Sayeed said as a Minister in the PDP-Congress coalition government, Karra’s performance is still being talked about by the people in every nook and corner of the City.

On this occasion district president and MLC Mohammad Ashraf Mir said NC should apologize to the people for having failed to fulfill his commitment on Sadak, Paani, Bijli and Rozgaar, the plank on which he sought votes in 2008 assembly elections. “Unfortunately the road communication power and employment have turned out to be the biggest casualty of the present regime,” he said and added that the pathetic condition of roads, acute power scarcity and soaring unemployment speak volumes about the performance of NC-Congress coalition government.

Secretray coordination Ab Hameed Kosheen; District Vice President Mohammad Maqbool Baig; Zone President Mohammad Shafi Mir and Mohamad Lateef were also present and spoke to the gathering on this occasion.