PC gen secy burns holes in NC’s sincerity towards PAGD
Ansari asks Sajad Lone to review his decisions; explain why NC fielded candidates against PC in recent DDC elections
Srinagar: Prominent Shia leader and People’s Conference general secretary Imran Raza Ansari has accused the PAGD leadership of fielding proxy candidates in recently concluded District Development Council elections and asked the party chief Sajad Gani Lone to review whether PAGD could be trusted.
In a letter to Lone, Ansari while referring to some recent statements of party leader Abdul Gani Vakil, says “the call of introspection made by Vakil must be taken in the spirit in which it has been made. It does not mean that we are against the spirit of PAGD (People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration) or its objectives, but in wake of the deceitful behavior shown by our allies by fielding proxy candidates in almost all DDC constituencies, we need to seriously think whether PAGD collectively possesses the sincerity that the people of J&K deserve.”
Narrating his “personal experience”, Ansari writes that Pattan had two DDC segments and both were allotted to Peoples Conference (PC) and we fielded two candidates on behalf of the PAGD.
“Would you (Sajad sahib) care to explain why then did NC leaders including the current Parliament Member (Mohammad Akbar Lone), and their constituency-head hold indoor meetings and campaigned against these two candidates of PAGD?,” Ansari asks.
“Their (NC) involvement in Pattan was so much that the MP fared very badly in his own Assembly constituency because he was solely focused on defeating the Peoples Conference candidate fighting on the PAGD mandate,” reads Ansari’s letter.
Explaining the “other facet of deceit”, Ansari writes: “We were allotted seats to fight in the neighboring Sonawari Assembly segment but NC put up candidates there — and not by proxy, but on proper NC mandate. You (Sajad Lone) would know better that the party nomination form is signed by the party president. The president of PAGD Dr Farooq Abdullah signed the mandate for a particular DDC segment in our favor and then Dr Farooq Abdullah as the president of NC also signed the nomination form of the NC candidate in the same DDC segment. So what are we up against?
“This is not gossip or something unverifiable; this is a documented fact. You can check the records. This has happened with other parties too,” Ansari points out.
About the PC’s stronghold of district Kupwara, Ansari says: “May I ask you who we fought against in the DDC seats allotted to us? The BJP candidates got hardly a few hundred votes. Who voted against us? Sajad Sahib is it not time to tell the truth to the people? Our cadres know it, NC cadres know it. We were fighting the NC. It was a typical NC vs PC fight.”
“When you (Sajad Lone) went out to campaign, who were you campaigning for and who were you campaigning against. Our senior leader and ex-MLA Bashir Ahmed Dar Sahib openly named the top NC leaders of the area on the stage in a large public gathering where you were also present. Did you not promise the people in your speech that you will ensure that action is taken against those who fielded proxy candidates? I am just asking, ‘where is the action against those leaders who defied PAGD and fielded proxy candidates against PAGD’,” Ansari’s letter reads.
“I also want to take up the issue of seats allotted to us. We did not object and did not question you when out of 140 seats in the Valley we were allotted just ten seats. In the last Parliamentary elections held in 2019, you have said in many interviews and meetings that we stood second in the Valley and secured approximately 27 percent of the three parties’ (PC/NC/PDP) combined vote share. Even as per the selective and flawed process by the PAGD for allocation of DDC seats, is this all that they had on offer for us?” Ansari asks.
“When Vakil Sahib and I confronted you, we were shouted down. In our recent meeting with the elected DDC members, you talked about PC having a strike rate of 80 percent while both NC and PDP have a strike rate of less than 40 percent. You also said that PC has taken about 5000 votes per seat that they contested while NC has taken around 1000 votes per seat contested and PDP has taken about 800 votes. Have you discussed these statistics with the PAGD leadership? Have you discussed the blind greed in taking mandates with poor results to show now?” asks Ansari.
“You served a notice to me when I met the Lieutenant Governor. Why was I prohibited from going when today an official delegation of the National Conference and Mr. Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami have gone to meet the Lieutenant Governor?
“I (Ansari) don’t, for a moment, challenge your (Sajad Lone’s) authority and your leadership but I am saying that too much of simplicity and taking people on face value may do a lot of damage to the party,” warns Ansari in his letter.
Continuing with his misgivings against the PAGD, Ansari goes on to write: “Let me also draw your attention to the political aspects. Mr. Omar Abdullah said that these elections were a referendum on August 05. Our party position is clear. We are against August 05 and will do what it takes to fight for the restoration of our rights. I have a simple question for Mr. Omar Abdullah. If indeed it was a referendum — who did the NC cadres vote for or against in the referendum? It is simple. A vote for PAGD was a vote against August 05 decisions. But in many constituencies NC voted against PAGD through their proxies.
“So NC in Pattan, Singhpora, Ramhall, Chowkibal, etc., segments voted against PAGD – and thus they voted in favor of August 05 decisions. Isn’t this cheating? “How can you keep quiet on such issues?
“And if it was such an important referendum, why didn’t the NC come out and campaign. This is a question which Sajad Sahib I ask you. Their (NC’s) absence from campaign raises doubts about their seriousness in, as Omar Sahib puts it, referendum on August 05,” Ansari states.
“have written this letter in all sincerity. I want you to introspect. I want our party to be at the forefront, fighting for the cause of the people in a transparent manner. I am in no way against the stated objectives of PAGD. We support the stated objectives which you have co-scripted with them. But it is difficult to convince the people about the sincerity of intentions when they are themselves witness to deceitful behavior during the elections,” Ansari points out.
“People have asked me that if you — PAGD guys — cannot be trusted with cheating each other during DDC elections, how can we (people) trust you with bigger objectives,” Ansari states.
“Seventeen months have passed since August 05, 2019. It is too little time for us — political leaders — to go back to the old and cheap political rhetoric. There is a lot that has to be achieved and that can only be achieved in a fair and transparent manner. Please don’t underestimate the forces you are pitted against. It will be a mammoth job. We are with you. And we believed in your vision of collective action. But collective action will work if there is sincerity. The past two months have shown that there is no sincerity in this alliance,” the letter reads.
Ansari concludes his letter with a request to PC chairman to convene a meeting of the party’s working committee and also of the newly elected DDC members, wherein Sajad Lone will have to “be ready to answer questions that we all have’.
J&K Peoples’ Conference Tweeted:
Senior leaders should desist from expressing grievances publicly. The best forum to discuss any grievances is the forum within the party. The dividing line between airing grievances publicly and indiscipline is very thin.
— J&K Peoples' Conference (@JKPC_) January 9, 2021
“Senior leaders should desist from expressing grievances publicly. The best forum to discuss any grievances is the forum within the party. The dividing line between airing grievances publicly and indiscipline is very thin.”