March 2019 News

Bureaucracy Scuttling Democracy In Jammu And Kashmir, Says Omar Abdullah

18 March 2019
NDTV
Nazir Masoodi

New Delhi: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday hit out at the bureaucracy in the state, accusing them of scuttling democracy by not allowing assembly elections in the state. In a series of tweets, the National Conference leader targeted senior state government officers and threatened to expose the 'cabal of officers'. 'One day we will talk about the cabal of officers in J&K who for their own selfish reasons have taken it upon themselves to scuttle democracy in the state,' Omar Abdullah tweeted. One day we will talk about the cabal of officers in J&K who for their own selfish reasons have taken it upon themselves to scuttle democracy in the state. - Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) March 18, 2019 'Some have no stakes in the state & some are looking at post retirement postings in cushy appointments. Whatever their reasons they have chosen to put their personal interest ahead of the greater good,' reads another of his tweets. 'I'm shocked to hear how officers who have supported early assembly elections are being browbeaten & threatened using their performance appraisals against them to get them to toe the line,' he said. 'No honest officer should fear these threats. We must put the greater good ahead of our personal preferences & benefits. Those people making the threats will not remain in the state for very long,' he added. No honest officer should fear these threats. We must put the greater good ahead of our personal preferences & benefits. Those people making the threats will not remain in the state for very long. - Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) March 18, 2019 Announcing dates for the national elections earlier this month, the Election Commission of India did not declare when it plans to hold Jammu and Kashmir assembly polls. It cited adverse reports by state government and union home ministry. The poll body has appointed a panel of three special observers to assess the situation in Kashmir and submit its report whether elections can be held in Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir is been under President's Rule and elections are due before May 19. The state assembly was dissolved in November last. According to a Supreme Court ruling, elections have to be held within six months after the dissolution of assembly. The state government, however, has cited security concerns after the Pulwama terror attack in February that left 40 soldiers dead and asked the Election Commission to delay polls to October. In its reports, the state government has also cited the upcoming month of Ramzan, and the Amarnath Yatra (in July and August) as reason for polls being pushed back. Sources say the Election Commission-appointed panel has been considering whether state elections can be held in the month of June. During their recent visit to the state, they have asked officers why elections cannot be held if the state is ready to hold parliament elections. Mr Abdullah alleged that senior officers are putting their personal interests ahead of the greater good and accused them of harassing those officers who backed early assembly elections.

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