Chairman of the People's Conference Sajjad Gani Lone has criticised the ruling National Conference (NC) for "indulging in politics" in the creation of new administrative units in the state, calling it a "vote-garnering exercise".
In a statement issued to a local news channel, Lone said "the exhibition of utmost urgency and waking up of a government which has been in deep slumber for the last five years to hastily create new administrative units bears the unmistakable, fatal signature of the National Conference".
He alleged, "They have a history of eroding institutions and converting every administrative activity into a vote-garnering exercise. It is the NC, which, in the process of delimitation of assembly constituencies, mixed and matched patches and created constituencies based on vote banks rather than practical ground realities."
The statement read that squabbling between the alliance partners was "the most unambiguous indication that yet again the NC was out to erode the essence of creation of new administrative units".
According to a PC spokesman, Lone had said that if the new units had been carved out on the basis of merit and ground realities, there would have been no reason to pit people of one area against those of others.
"The NC leaders are actually going on the ground and inciting people of one region against the people of another region. The idea is to create vote banks rather than administrative units. The other important objective for the NC is to fragment and scatter the concept of a monolithic Kashmiri identity. They want to divide and sub-divide the Kashmiris so that they can identify themselves not as Kashmiris, but as citizens of a particular tehsil or block. This erosion of the larger Kashmiri identity is a part of a larger game plan aimed at weakening the political sentiment in the Valley," Lone was quoted as saying.
He had alleged that the People's Democratic Party (PDP) had left "no stone unturned" in their era to erode the monolithic identity and divide people on the basis of regions and facilitate creation of multiple identities within the larger Kashmiri identity. "Being different sides of the same coin, the underlying political philosophy and ideology of both these Delhi-mentored parties is the same, the difference lying only in their respective means and competition for power," the statement read.