In a statement issued here today the PDP president said the frequent and always conditional offer of resignation by the chief minister had now become his most preferred instrument to ward off all criticism whether on governance, human rights or corruption in his government. “His challenge to the media to prove the case of cash for votes in the Council elections is more filmi than political” she said adding the chief minister as head of the coalition that benefited from cross voting needed to come clean on the scandal. If the extra votes polled by the coalition candidates were not purchased then the question becomes even more serious she said, wondering whether it was revival of old friendship.
Mehbooba said the chief minister was insulting the intelligence of the people if he thought he would be taken for his word on the issue. How is it possible that the BJP votes are shared in a way that both coalition candidates get 30 each unless there was a proper floor management and understanding between the parties, she asked? And that understanding doesn’t come free or without an understanding.
The PDP chief said the functioning of the present coalition had always been disastrous for the state but the council elections threw up questions of greater importance than mere winning or losing a seat. It could shake the foundations of multiparty democracy in a state that has still to go a long way in establishing the credentials of democratic institutions and for which the people are engaged in a serious and long struggle. “If the NC led coalition could throw to winds all political morality and propriety for a mere council seat how would it be behave when it came to safeguarding the interests of the state” she said. No wonder that it has been selling out everything for the sake of power, be it the state’s water resources, institutions like the J&K Bank, trust of people or the blood of innocents added Mehbooba.
Mehbooba said the voting scandal in J&K had come at a time when entire country was engaged in a soul searching over matters of political morality and integrity in public life. The shocking events around the council election indicate as to how far removed the coalition is from these historic developments and to the contrary are trying to further devalue and undermine democratic institutions and practices in the state.