Budget Session: Power crisis, Shopian killings helped Opposition to corner Govt

Budget Session: Power crisis, Shopian killings helped Opposition to corner Govt
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Afaq Bhat

Srinagar, Feb 2: For the past one month legislators have been fighting pitched battles with each other in both the Houses of the legislature over different issues. The Opposition has left no stone unturned to corner the government but has struggled on many occasions. On one front where government has been cornered during the ongoing session is power.
On Thursday legislators cut across the party lines and castigated the government for failing to keep up its promise vis-à-vis power distribution in Kashmir during chilly winter months.
Legislator of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, Yawar Mir, accused Power Development Department (PDD) of failing to fulfill the commitments made by the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. The senior National Conference leader Devender Singh Rana asked the Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh to do “self-introspection” over his last three years’ performance, while NC General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar alleged that government misled the people on the return of power projects to the state.
An analyst while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “Power crisis in the Valley has left the government red faced. The people at the helm seem to have no answers.”
He said that during the past three months Kashmir has witnessed numerous protests against the pesky power cuts and the failure of the PDD to repair the transformers which developed technical snags. “Many areas reeled under darkness for weeks together and common people were left high and dry,” the analyst added.
He said that despite Central government offering 800 Megawatts of additional power to J&K, the state was unable to utilize it as there was no proper distribution system at place. “Government’s failure to address the power crisis provided the Opposition parties with the ammunition to attack the government,” he added.
A politician said, “Besides power crisis the recent killings of civilians in Shopian also helped the Opposition to take the government head on. The government did not succumb to the pressure exerted by the Opposition the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti led from the front and tore the Opposition apart on many occasions.”
He said, “Chief Minister did not budge from her stand when the BJP leaders tried to build pressure to seek the revocation of FIR registered against the Army in connection with the Shopian killings.”
Chief Minister put her foot down and rejected the BJP’s demand stating that “investigations would be taken to logical conclusion,” she said. “Chief Minister rejecting the demand of its coalition ally put the lid over the issue and even led to the Opposition going on the backfoot,” he added.
A Kashmir watcher said, “Last few days of the ongoing session of the legislature would be interesting as Opposition would try to attack the government on or other issue to score points over the ruling dispensation.”