Srinagar, Nov 20 (IANS) Senior CPI-M leader and former legislator, M.Y. Tarigami, on Friday voiced serious concern over what he termed “the absence of genuine campaigning process” for the district development council (DDC) polls in Jammu and Kashmir.
In a letter to Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha, Tarigami said: “The first-ever DDC elections are commencing in next few days and to make the process credible, the participation of voters is imperative.”
However, he noted that many candidates, who are contesting these polls, have been kept away from their constituencies and they have been bundled in ‘cluster accommodations’.
“After filing their nomination papers, they are not allowed to hold campaigning in their respective segments due to a perceived threat to their lives,” he said, noting that confining candidates against their wishes has severely restricted their movement and ability to campaign.
“Even in some cases, they are not allowed to attend party meetings.
“And some cases have surfaced where opposite candidates are sent in the same vehicle to a village for campaigning and are asked to campaign together,” he said.
Tarigami also said that several candidates from far-off places were sent to hotels in Srinagar soon after they filled the nomination forms last week.
“You may have come to know about these issues through media reports as well. It is a big concern and there is lot of dissatisfaction on ground over such arrangements. Who wins and who loses, the decision must lie on electorate.
“Democracy must finally win. For that, the process must be made secure and credible. It is advisable not to put avoidable restrictions on the contesting candidates and instead their legitimate movement for the campaigning in their respective areas must be effectively facilitated.
“Ensuring a free and fair environment for this process is essential,” he told Sinha.