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NC, Congress question impartiality of Raj Bhavan

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Train guns at Governor for his remarks about Srinagar mayor

Srinagar, Oct 08: The National Conference and Congress on Tuesday said Governor Satya Pal Malik's recent remark favouring a particular individual for the post of mayor of Srinagar is shocking and puts a big question mark on the impartiality of the his office.

Referring to Governor Satya Pal Malik's interview to NDTV in which he had hinted that a “foreign-educated person was going to become the mayor of Srinagar”, NC in a statement here alleged that "the ongoing election process is a smokescreen to hide the machinations of the Governor's office to throttle the democratic institutions in the state.”

In a joint statement released from party head Nawa, senior NC leader and MLA Eidgah Mubarak Gul, Women’s Wing president Shameema Firdous, central secretary Irfan Shah, provincial vice-president Muhammad Syed Akhoon and district president Srinagar Peer Afaq Ahmad said the party said it's not against any person becoming the mayor, but the way the Governor has expressed his intentions by hinting towards a particular individual before-hand for the mayor's post casts a shadow on the whole election process already mired in controversies.

"The councilors elected from various wards exercise their democratic right and elect a mayor after following the whole process as enshrined in the rule-books.

“There is already a big question mark on the fairness of ongoing elections in the valley. Adding to the confusion, the Governor's remarks reveal that he has no reverence for the due process of elections,” it alleged.

The party said the ongoing process has already gone farcical and proven to be a damp squib due to scanty participation of people in its first phase in the Valley and the sparse number of candidates contesting the polls.

"The recent remarks,” the statement reads “have made it very clear that the whole process of elections is rather a gimmick and that selection has already been done in the Governor's office," it alleged.

The NC leaders emphasized that the active indulgence of Governor into the politics has demeaned the reputation of the office of Governor.

“As has been the norm, a Governor is supposed to work in an impartial manner and take everyone along but that is not happening. Instead the office is being used to undermine the well-established institutions of the state. This is a sad state of affairs and will inevitably push the youth of the state towards hopelessness,” reads the statement.

The Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) also hit out at Governor Malik for hinting that a "foreign-educated person" will be the mayor of Srinagar.

JKPCC vice-president Ghulam Nabi Monga, while expressing surprise over the Governor's remarks, said "the ongoing elections have lost the credibility as BJP-RSS has already decided as to who would be the mayor".

Monga also hit out at the Governor for "failing to uphold the constitutional authority" of the Raj Bhavan, saying the Governor being the constitutional head of the state should "not play in the hands of BJP-RSS".

"It was surprising to see that such irresponsible statement has come from none other than the Governor of the state," he said.

Seeking clarity from Malik over the remarks, Monga said the statement is going to cause "severe damages" to electoral exercise currently underway in the state.

He alleged that the BJP and RSS have decided as to who would be the mayor of the SMC and "the Governor has been assigned the task to complete the process before the outcome of the elections".

"This is something that needs to be ascertained, for the fact, the people in the state will again loose the faith in the democratic process," Monga said.

“BJP-RSS is trying to make Raj Bhavan as a tool to decide the fate of democratic institutions, but the Congress party will defeat their designs,” Monga said, adding Governor must clarify his position, as that, his assertions are detrimental to electoral exercise in the State.

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