National Conference provincial president and MLA Nagrota, Devender Singh Rana on Friday charged BJP of “trampling democracy” in Kashmir during the civic polls.
While replying to BJP over its boast of “lotus bloom” in over 100 wards of Kashmir, the NC leader, during a press conference here, said that to make the lotus bloom in Valley, BJP changed the definition of democracy. “The meaning of democracy is-government ‘by the people’, ‘for the people’ and ‘of the people’, but it was ‘by the BJP’, ‘for the BJP’ and ‘of the BJP’ in Kashmir civic polls,” Rana said.
Taking a dig at the BJP’s national as well as local leadership for their allegations that NC was responsible for the low voters’ turnout (3-4%) in Kashmir in the recently concluded civic polls, Rana said, “Some BJP leaders are claiming that even during the by-election for the Srinagar LS seat, the turnout was 7.14%………. I want to ask them-who was ruling the State then? The answer is-BJP. NC should not be blamed for anything wrong in the state.”
“It is only BJP that is responsible for the mess in the State. They have, till date, failed to hold the by-poll to the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat,” Rana said.
The NC provincial president said that in Omar Abdullah led government in the year 2014, the turnout during the parliamentary polls for the Srinagar LS constituency was 26% while for Anantnag, it was 28%. “And in their time (PDP-BJP rule in the state), it reached to 7.4% for Srinagar Lok Sabha seat and they failed to hold the by-poll for Anantnag seat,” he said.
In 2014 Assembly polls also, Rana said that the total voting percentage of the State was 65% in all the phases, while the minimum voting percentage was 49% and highest 76%. “Who should be blamed for the mess in the state -we or BJP? Obviously BJP,” he said.
On BJP’s assertion that people rejected NC by voting heavily during the municipal polls in Jammu, Rana said, “This is merely their doubt that people accepted BJP and rejected NC. We didn’t contest the polls. And I don’t want to be personal, but it was the incompetence of the opposition (Congress) that contested against the BJP and lost to them.”
Rana said that the vote share of the BJP dropped considerably during the municipal polls.