The recently held elections in Indian-administered Kashmir have been touted by the right wing Narendra Modi government as a game-changer for ending the alleged ‘corrupt’ and ‘dynastic’ rule of the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party. But since the results have been out, the BJP, using its proxy Apni Party, has been making attempts to allegedly buy those elected from the rival political parties. Ironically, it is the Indian administration and bureaucracy which is working for Modi’s party to consolidate the Hindu right wing position.
The recently elected two district development councillors in Shopian on Thursday alleged that Indian authorities have kept them under “illegal detention” and aren’t allowing them to work freely.
Raja Waheed and Abdul Hamid Sheikh who won two seats in Shopian district say a day after winning elections, they have been kept in Forest Protection Complex Shirmal and are not allowed to move out. “We are caged here,” the duo said.
“We have been elected to work for the development of our area but we have been caged and are not allowed to move out and work for the welfare of people,” they said.
“We are receiving hundreds of calls every day and people bring their issues in our notice, but we are unable to do anything as we have been kept under illegal detention.”
The duo said that under the garb of security they are not allowed to move out, while on other hand DDC members of other parties are allowed to move freely.
“I had planned to visit Bijbehara to pay tribute to Mufti Mohammed Sayeed but wasn’t allowed to move out,” Waheed said.
The duo said that if authorities won’t allow them to move out, they will go on a hunger strike from Saturday.
Meanwhile, PDP president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti also alleged that opposition members are jailed under the guise of security only to intimidate them to switch sides.
“This is how DDC members are being illegally detained by J&K admin. Funnily enough, BJP & its proxies can roam around freely but only opposition is jailed under the guise of ‘security’. Purpose being to tempt or intimidate them to switch sides (sic),” Mehbooba tweeted while sharing the video of DDC members not allowed to move out.
Several candidates of the Gupkar alliance, which is a coalition of pro-Article 370 political parties, who emerged victorious, have alleged pressure and horse-trading attempts.
The Peoples Democratic Party had won four seats in Shopian followed by three of National Conference, two of Apni Party and one of Congress.
Four independents were also elected to the DDC from this south Kashmir district.
Apni Party is widely believed to enjoy the tacit backing of the BJP.
Days after the election results were announced, Yasmeena Jan, who won on a National Conference ticket from Imamsahib of Shopian, defected to the recently floated Apni Party, headed by the businessman-turned-politician, Altaf Bukhari.
The defection of Yasmeena was followed by three more – one each from PDP and Congress, and an independent, to the Bukhari camp, leaving the Apni Party short of just two seats to clinch the DDC chair.