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PC blames mainstream parties for people’s disinterest in elections

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Lone asks Omar to stop marketing Kashmiri people’s sentiments and aspirations

Srinagar, Apr 20: Peoples Conference Chairman Sajad Gani Lone on Saturday said the inability of mainstream parties to deliver is partly responsible for low participation of people in the election process here.

Training guns at the National Conference (NC), the Peoples Conference (PC) chairman said: “What have you (NC) done to the people? Why aren’t people coming out in hordes like in other states to join the polling queues?

“We (PC) are relatively new in mainstream politics; you (NC) are a 70-year-old party. Unfortunately, we have become victims of the pessimism that people share about mainstream politics. We do agree that there is a lot of ideological boycott but part of it is also against the inability of the mainstreamers to deliver,” Lone said in a statement.

Criticising the NC for their “failure to deliver on their lofty promises”, Lone said that “people of Kashmir know that for generations the Abdullahs’ have been lying to them”.

“Mr. Omar Abdullah you have to answer, what have you done to these people? Why aren’t they coming out? Wherever we went there is a general pessimism and negative attitude towards false promises. You promised them the elusive moon; short of ‘Azaadi’ you have promised them everything under the sky.

“And look at the numbers in Srinagar parliamentary constituency you have been able to attract. This shows that people know you are lying. They know you always lie through your teeth, that for generations you have been lying to them. Had they taken your promises seriously, put your hand on your heart, wouldn’t there have been 80 percent polling?” Lone added.

Expressing gratitude to the voters of Srinagar parliament constituency for “reposing their faith in Peoples Conference”, Lone said that the lack of queues outside polling stations is a big question mark on the politics of the mainstream parties.

“We thank the people of Srinagar the way they came and voted against the traditional parties. We are confident of our victory and hope that we are able to deliver and be greeted with long queues of voters the next time we go out to ask vote. Polling day in most of the parts was more about the solitude of the polling staff and less about the excitement of polls. We would have thought that a four-time chief minister being in the fray would have meant long queues at the polling booths. The lack of long queues is a question for us also but the bigger question to the so called 70-year-old party, so-called upholder of the Kashmiri rights.”

Maybe the traditional parties have become immune to low turnouts “but we feel that low polling is a humiliation that we all face at the hands of the majority that stays indoors,” Lone said.

He said that the Omar Abdullah should stop marketing the sentiments and aspirations of the people of Kashmir by making “false promises”.

“The ‘finale moment’ will come one day, that is for sure. But don’t make a mockery of this issue. This issue is sacred to the people of Kashmir. It enjoys sanctity across all sections of people. This ‘finale moment’ will hopefully come very soon despite you. Because you are the ones who facilitated erosion steadily over the last five decades. You are the ones who stole the ‘finale moment’ in 1996 by accepting power without internal autonomy and blowing away that chance.

“Stop marketing this, this is not about marketing Mr. Omar Abdullah, this is not about the event management companies you have hired, this is about a sentiment, this is about an aspiration. Please don’t sully these aspirations. Stop, and have mercy on the faith of these and on the faith of the people of Kashmir,” Lone added.

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