September 2001 News

Hurt, NC wants polls held under UN aegis

2 September 2001
The Indian Express

Srinagar: THE ruling National Conference (NC) is apparently in no mood to forget the Prime Minister’s remarks on the J-K Assembly polls. At a one-day party convention in Sopore today, NC provincial chief G.N. Shaheen asked the Centre to call the coming election under UN supervision. ‘‘If they think the Assembly polls were unfair despite being held under the Chief Election Commissioner’s supervision, let the 2002 polls be held under UN control,’’ Shaheen told party workers. ‘‘The Centre had asked our party leaders then to assume charge of the administration. But we asked them to hold elections under Governor’s rule,’’ he said. ‘‘It was NC who saved Kashmiris in 1996, at a time when no one was ready to take control of the state. By saying what they (the Centre) have, they have failed to trust the CEC. How can they trust us?’’ Shaheen said 17 top party leaders have died for the country. The NC leader said the Centre should restore the pre-1953 status of J-K. ‘‘Internal autonomy should be immediately restored to overcome the present situation,’’ he said. According to him, the Centre has reneged on its promise to exempt J-K of all taxes and loans as it did in Punjab and Assam. ‘‘When H.D. Deve Gowda and I.K. Gujral were the prime ministers, the Centre failed to provide an economic package on the pattern for North-East states,’’ Shaheen said. The NC should be credited with rebuilding bridges, schools and hospitals destroyed during the height of militancy, besides restoring work culture in government offices, he said. Shaheen warned security forces and the state task force against using force on the innocent. ‘‘We will fight tooth and nail for people’s rights. The Chief Minister has already issued instructions in this regard.’’


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