Srinagar by-polls: Abdullahs pull up Mufti Govt. over ‘systematic failure’

Srinagar (J&K), [India]: With the situation worsening at the polling stations during the Srinagar Lok Sabha by-poll, National Conference (NC) president and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah on Sunday came down heavily upon the state government, saying it has failed in giving a peaceful atmosphere to the people to vote.

“The elections should have been peaceful. People have to show their presence and support whoever they want to. People have fought for this vote and they should be able to utilize it, but unfortunately this government has failed in giving peaceful atmosphere to the people so that they can come out and vote. The government is frightening the people,” Farooq told ANI after casting his vote for the by-poll.

“I heard two people have died in Budgam district and many are injured with pellet guns show that the situation is worsened. We hope the people will go and vote and express their opinion,” he added.

Echoing similar views, Farooq’s son and National Conference working president Omar Abdullah said it is the responsibility of the state government, the Centre and the Election Commission to ensure peaceful voting in which they have miserably failed.

“It is our decision to participate in the elections, but it is the responsibility of the Election Commission and the government to ensure that we have a conducive atmosphere to campaign and the voters have a conducive atmosphere to decide whether he or she wants to cast their vote or not,” Omar told ANI after casting his vote.

“Unfortunately, the state government, the Central Government and the Election Commission have failed to give the people a peaceful atmosphere for voting,” he added.

The former chief minister further said the state government doesn’t know how to work as there is no command and control over anything.

“I have been an active politician for 20 years now. I have never seen such a bad environment for the elections. This government doesn’t know what it is doing. There is no command and control. There is a systematic failure and the state is going rapidly backwards due to this,” he added.

Two more persons have been reported killed in the clash between the protesters and the security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam taking the death toll to three.

Earlier, it was reported that a person was killed after a clash broke out on Sunday near a polling station in Dalwan Pakerpora area of Budgam.

Petrol bombs were also hurled at polling station in Budgam, as voting for by-election to the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency began here.

Meanwhile, clashes between protesters and security forces were also broke out in Nasrullahpora and Chadoora, leaving four injured.

Nine candidates are in fray for the Srinagar parliamentary constituency where more than 1,500 polling stations have been set up for nearly 12.61 lakh voters.

Security has been beefed up and internet services have also been shut down ahead of the polling.

All the polling stations have been declared as either ‘sensitive’ or ‘hyper-sensitive’ keeping in mind threats perceptions. (ANI)