August 2001 News

Ready for polls under U.N. supervision: NC

27 August 2001
The Hindu
Shujaat Bukhari

SRINAGAR: Close on the heels of a threat to sever ties with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the National Conference (NC) today proposed to the Centre to conduct elections in the State under the supervision of United Nations if it had no faith in its Election Commission . Mr. Ghulam Nabi Shaheen, provincial president of the party, told a convention of party workers at Kupwara that the elections in the State in 1977 and 1996, when the National Conference came to power with a brute majority, were conducted under Governor''s and President''s rule respectively. If any elections were a fraud, those were of the period from 1953 to 1975 during which the Congress ruled the State. Taking strong exception to the statements made by the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, and the Union Home Minister, Mr. L.K. Advani, Mr. Shaheen said ''if they (Centre) have no faith in the Election Commission, the elections should be held under the supervision of United Nations and we are ready for it''. We have proved to be the representatives of people by winning the elections and will do so even if these are held under the U.N. supervision. By issuing such statements, the Central leadership was not doing a service to nation, which is facing a direct war in the State. Talking to The Hindu later, Mr. Shaheen, who lost a leg in a landmine blast three years ago, said the crisis in Kashmir was a result of the follies of the Centre, which started in 1953 when the late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah was ''illegally'' dethroned and jailed.


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