Non-BJP candidates not allowed to campaign freely: Gupkar alliance leaders
Allege the administration was favouring the saffron partyUpdated: Nov 20, 2020, 00:47 IST
Leaders of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), an amalgam of Jammu and Kashmir’s mainstream parties demanding restoration of Article 370, have alleged that candidates of parties opposing the BJP were not being allowed to campaign freely for the upcoming district development council (DDC) on the pretext of security while the saffron party was being given a free hand.
Omar Abdullah took to twitter to allege that the administration was going out of its way to help BJP candidates: “What sort of elections are being held in J&K where candidates are being stopped from campaigning? Is this the safe, terror free J&K the Home Minister was tweeting about yesterday?” he asked.
“The J&K administration is going out of its way to help the BJP & it’s recently created king’s party by locking up candidates opposed to the BJP, using security as an excuse. If the security situation isn’t conducive to campaigning what was the need to announce elections? (sic)” he wrote.
PAGD vice-chairperson Mehbooba Mufti also said that non-BJP candidates were being treated unfairly. “Non-BJP candidates are not being allowed to campaign freely and are being locked up on the pretence of security. But BJP and its proxies are given full bandobast to move around. Is this the democracy that the government of India said it was promoting while speaking to the US President elect?” Mufti asked.
Security being provided according to threat perception: Admn
Officials of the Jammu and Kashmir administration have refuted the allegations. “This is not the case. Security is being provided be according to threat perception. There is no disparity between the candidates of different parties,” said Kashmir divisional commissioner Pandurang K Pole, adding that candidates should approach him in case of any difficulty.
Kashmir inspector general of police Vijay Kumar said they were putting candidates in secure areas as it was difficult to provide security individually.
“We are providing collective security measures. Everyone is being put in secure areas and those who go out for campaigning are provided double escort besides securing the area for campaigning,” Kumar said.
Multiple calls to J&K BJP spokesperson Altaf Thakur elicited no response.
PAGD candidate and NC leader from Budgam’s Khag constituency Rayees Mattoo said, PAGD candidates from Beerwah and Khag are not being allowed to campaign, while our competitors are freely working in the field,”
He said he was being detained at a hotel in Srinagar as the district administration allegedly did not have vehicles and security available. “…I don’t need protection, vehicle or anything else. Requesting them with folded hands let me be in the field and run the campaign,” he said.
The allegations of the two former J&K chief ministers come after the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) and BJP leader and union home minister Amit Shah indulged in a verbal spat on Tuesday.
Shah had termed the six-party bloc a ‘gang’,to which the PAGD had said the BJP was trying to delegitimise a coalition that was taking part in a democratic process.