September 6, 2020

Discriminatory political freedom under political LG

Manoj Sinha the new Lt Governor of Jammu & Kashmir reaching out to local district administrations and panchayat representatives at the district headquarters won’t change the ground reality in Jammu & Kashmir as for all practical purposes he is a stranger to the people of Jammu & Kashmir upset over a series of hostile constitutional and institutional measures taken without the consultation of top leader of frontline mainstream parties since August 5 last year. The public contact programs carried out by the Lt Governor Manoj Sinha at district headquarters is just like public darbars which the several chief ministers of the erstwhile Jammu & Kashmir state were holding at district headquarters time and again but unfortunately even such public darbars by the elected chief ministers could not change the situation on ground in Jammu & Kashmir. So a simple explanation which the central government owes to the people of Jammu & Kashmir is that if public darbars by the elected chief ministers could not change the situation on ground in Jammu & Kashmir, how come a Lt Governor politically affiliated to a political party ruling at the centre can change the situation on ground in Jammu & Kashmir amid curbs on the leaders of regional mainstream parties ideologically opposed to the core political philosophy of the BJP presently ruling at the centre which Sinha has been representing for last several decades. To establish distinguished record of political neutrality as Lt Governor of Jammu & Kashmir Manoj Sinha will have to stop the policy of easing restrictions on leaders of National Conference, J&K Apni Party and other smaller parties amid stringent restrictions on political freedom of senior leaders of other similar regional mainstream parties like Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).

Unless and until the Lt Governor does not ease restrictions on political leaders irrespective of their party affiliations and ideologies, no reach out in presence of hostile constitutional and institutional measures by the Lt Governor led administration can bring about any change on ground in Jammu & Kashmir.

Though relaxations on the political freedom of the senior leaders of National Conference, Peoples Conference Chairman Sajad Gani Lone , CPI(M) Secretary M Y Tarigami and heads of several other mainstream parties had generated hopes of a full scale revival of a virtually suspended political process in Jammu & Kashmir, but the government’s silence on rising public demand for release of PDP Chief Mehbooba from more  than one year long detention under Public Safety Act (PSA) and curbs on a meeting of several top PDP leaders in Srinagar have brought under sharp public criticism the political neutrality of the Lt Governor. Unless and until the Lt Governor does not ease restrictions on political leaders irrespective of their party affiliations and ideologies, no reach out in presence of hostile constitutional and institutional measures by the Lt Governor led administration can bring about any change on ground in Jammu & Kashmir

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