Srinagar: Expressing regret that his party National Conference (NC) did not participate in the 2018 Panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir, former chief minister Dr Farooq Abdullah on Tuesday demanded proper security for the members of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) who are being targeted by militants.
Speaking at the fourth Parliamentary outreach programme for strengthening PRIs, which was inaugurated by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla in Srinagar today, NC president Dr Abdullah said he now regrets why his party (NC) did not participate in the panchayat polls, held on non-party basis.
However, the NC and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also boycotted Block Development Council (BDC) polls held in October 2019 in protest against the reading down of Article 370 and 35A besides dividing the erstwhile state into two Union Territories (UTs).
Later, when District Development Council (DDC) polls were held, all the political parties, including NC and PDP participated to give a tough fight against the BJP.
Member of Parliament (MP) from Srinagar constituency, Dr Abdullah requested Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, who was present on the dais, to provide proper security to members of PRIs who are being targeted by the militants.
He said the politicians who are standing with the country are targets of militants and it is now the country’s duty to protect them.
He expressed anguish over government officials of the UT administration not answering the phone calls of people. They do not pick up phones as if some ghost is hanging upon them, the former CM said and requested the LG to instruct officials to refrain from doing so.
However, he said, elections will be held and new government will be formed soon which will make these officials answerable to the people.