Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik has come under attack for his comments “naming” the next mayor of Srinagar, even before the civic polls are over, reported NDTV.
In an interview with NDTV’s Sunetra Choudhary on 08th October, the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir said,
“Foreign Educated Person is becoming a Srinagar Mayor”
Incidentally the governor told @ndtv a foreign educated person is becoming Srinagar mayor. Viewers and Kashmir friends ask how Satyapal Malik knows who will be Srinagar mayor #JammuKashmirElection I should have pinned him down on this
— sunetra choudhury (@sunetrac) October 8, 2018
The opposition was quick to criticise the Governor calling the elections as a farce, more of a “selection”. Both the National Conference of former chief minister Omar Abdullah as well as the Congress have strongly reacted to the governor’s comments.
Why are polling booths opening at 6AM? If I believed conspiracy theories I’d believe it’s because journalists won’t be around to verify the genuineness of voters at that very early hour. https://t.co/mLP6n4PJWM
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) October 9, 2018
The governor also responded to the allegations of unfair polls,
“Both parties (the National Conference and Mehbooba Mufti’s People’s Democratic Party) are regretting they did not participate. As per my information Srinagar is getting a new mayor who is a foreign-educated young person and if this leader emerges, both parties are jittery.”
He also said: “…the boy’s name is Mattoo, he is very well-educated…The day he becomes mayor, he will be better than (National Conference leader) Farooq (Abdullah) saab in that time. He will get more respect.”
Aga Rohullah, National Conference Spokesperson criticised this statement and said that the comments are proof the elections are “managed” as voting took place on Wednesday in the second round of staggered four-phase civic polls in Jammu and Kashmir, which will end only on 16th October.
“These elections are not conducted in a true spirit of democracy. The Governor in an interview to NDTV has already named a person as Mayor of Srinagar Municipal Corporation. Elections are yet to conducted, polls are yet to be held, the Governor goes to name a particular person for a particular post – this suggest that elections are managed, people are already deleted and they are calling ‘selection’ democratic,” Mr. Rohullah said.
“He has already announced the result saying a foreign educated candidate will be mayor of Srinagar Municipal Corporation. Now there is will be no election because he has already decided about it. People have not even cast their vote; people don’t even who their candidates are which we see on ground. But here they have decided who is mayor, municipal corporation is formed. Governor Sahib has decided everything at his home. We have lost faith in these elections.”
The civic polls are being held in the state after 13 years. The two main regional parties, the National Conference and PDP boycotted the elections citing uncertainty over the centre’s stand on Article 35A of the Constitution on land ownership rights.
This is perhaps for the first time in history of Jammu and Kashmir that polling will start before daybreak. Second phase polling to kick off at 6.00 am and sunrise in Srinagar is at 6.32 am. What is the logic? @jandkgovernor @ElectionComm
— Inayat Jehangir (@Jehangir_Inayat) October 9, 2018
Jammu and Kashmir was placed under Governor’s Rule in June this year, after PDP president Mehbooba Mufti resigned as the chief minister suddenly, but not unexpectedly. The Governor of J&K has already been alleged of being hand in glove with the Government at the Centre, the BJP. He was recently mocked on social media for making it compulsory for all government employees to purchase health insurance only from a private player, Reliance Insurance.
With inputs from NDTV