October 1999 News


Electioneering ends in Anantnag

2 October 1999
Daily Excelsior

SRINAGAR: Winding up electioneering in Anantnag parliamentary constituency, Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah today made a fervent appeal to the people to foil the designs of disruptive elements who are aiding and abetting violence in Jammu and Kashmir.

"There are lot many difficulties ahead of us. But, with your cooperation we are confident to brave all these to usher the State to peace, progress and prosperity", Dr Farooq asserted while addressing big election rallies at Muran and Shopian.

He said his Government will not allow innocent people becoming the target of guns and added that stern action would be taken against elements inimical to peace.

Dr Abdullah lashed out at those exploiting the religious sentiments of people and misleading youth on the so called slogan of Azadi. He said the leaders of Hurriyat Conference too have realised that they are not going to change the ground reality in Kashmir and that is why they now talk about 'political struggle' instead of so called Jehad and direct their venom against Pakistan. They are now looking towards New Delhi, he added.

The Chief Minister wondered over the utterances of some political leaders about situation in Jammu and Kashmir and said that it is because of the efforts of the Government that various political parties are carrying on electioneering in length and breadth of the State and people are moving around freely.

Asking people to get ready for the Panchayati elections, the National Conference president reiterated his commitment to decentralise powers. Panchayats, he said, would be solely responsible for the development of rural areas and monitoring functioning of Government machinery like hospitals, schools etc in their jurisdiction.

He appealed to women to take part in Panchayati elections in a big way. Even if they are not elected adequately, they will be nominated to have at least two women Panches in a Panchayat, he said.

Dr Abdullah again advocated friendship between India and Pakistan saying that good relations between the two neighbours are in the best interests of the people of the region. He prayed for normalcy and said peace is imperative for faster development and prosperity of a tourist State like Jammu and Kashmir.

Referring to local problems, the Chief Minister spelled out the measures being taken for providing drinking water, improving roads and streamlining the functioning of various sectors like health, education etc. He gave a brief resume of the financial situation prevailing in the State and said despite constraints 'we are marching ahead towards development and progress.'

Dr Farooq sought co-operation of the people in eradicating corruption and said unless people extend full support to the Government this menace cannot be wiped out.

The Chief Minister reaffirmed his party's commitment to greater autonomy within Constitution and asked people to choose right persons for Parliament who can forcefully plead this vital issue in country's supreme democratic forum. He sought people's massive support to National Conference and urged them to come out in large numbers to exercise their franchise.

Speaking on the occasion the senior National Conference leader, Mr Ali Mohammad Sagar lashed out at those who perpetuated violence in the name of religion and so called Jehad. He said the people were subjected to humiliation and harassment during the years of turmoil and added that the State witnessed colossal damages and destruction.

Mr Sagar enumerated the success achieved during the three years of Dr Farooq Abdullah Government and said tourism has been revived, education set up brought on rails and massive recruitment made. He sought people's support in development effort and eradicating corruption.

Mr Sagar said the Government headed by Dr Farooq Abdullah is endeavouring for restoring complete normalcy and peace in the State. "We won't allow Kashmir to become Afghanistan", he said.

The National Conference candidate for Anantnag Parliamentary constituency, Mr Ali Mohammad Naik, while addressing the election rallies, exuded confidence in the trust of people in National Conference and said the adversaries frightened of its mass base were levelling baseless charges of rigging. In fact those levelling such senseless allegations have themselves indulged in such tactics in the past as a result of which people had lost faith in democratic process.

Decrying threats issued by the anti-election elements, Mr Naik said that they too have fought polls in the past and swore by the Constitution. He hoped that undeterred by threats and intimidation, people would come out in big numbers to cast their votes.

Criticising Mufti Mohammad Syeed for his political gimmickry, he said that the former Home Minister has ultimately realised the importance of a regional party. He said there could be no parallel to National Conference, which has a track record of sacrifice and public service and which reflects the urges and aspiration of the people of all the three regions of the State.

He said Mufti Mohammad Syeed, during his brief tenure as Home Minister, initiated anti people measures in Kashmir which resulted in the death of many innocent civilians in early 90s.

Mr Naik also gave resume of measures taken to rebuild militancy damaged infrastructure and other development works.

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