Saturday, November 15, 2008

Poor villagers of Bhaderwah rub feet to reach homes; their ex-MLA still rides 26 Govt. vehicles ?

The state of Jammu and Kashmir for the last 18 years remained in international focus due to active militancy, deaths and destructions and now a-days election process and boycott call by separatists have once again invited the attention of international as well as national media. As seen in the past, during the election process, the misdeeds of politicians are brought before the people by the opposition to defame one and the other and gain the sympathies of voters by provoking them against other but some active social workers who have poor background and feel by heart the pain of poor public which has remained a neglected slot during the past 60 years have started attacking directly of these leaders of the past by disclosing their luxurious life style which they have been enjoying at the cost of Govt money, which in-fact is the hard earned money of public which they pay through taxes etc. Hailing from Chiralla belt of villages, a prominent social worker, ex-serviceman and retired educationist, Master (Retd.), Fazal Alam Wani, who has been convinced by the villages people of the constituency (about 70 %), to contest as independent candidate from Bhaderwah , which was earlier represented by the former Chief Minister (CM) Ghulam Nabi Azad, has expressed deep sorrow over the plight of villagers in the Bhaderwah constituency, after an extensive tour of several villages which remained unconnected even after repeated assurances by the political leaders, (The leaders who are expert in fiddling with the sentiments of highly emotional and simple villagers). Giving reference of Rising Kashmir, an English Daily published form Kashmir, Master Fazal lamented that how a leader (also happens to be the CM) representing a constituency, people of which have to walk for days to reach their homes from road side, can continue to have 26 vehicles when he is not CM. “I read in the paper that former CM has 28 vehicles, if it is so, is gross violation of not only Modal Code of Conduct (MCC) but also belies his own claims of corruption free, transparent and clean administration”. “The people of Bhaderwah, particularly villagers are suffering badly in the absence of all basic amenities and many have to live in temporary houses which soak during rains and snowfall but how he (Azad) can continue to occupy 4 government accommodations, as reported by Risking Kashmir, he added. Relevant to mention have that, Election Commission of India has reportedly taken note of a complaint about Ghulam Nabi Azad being still accorded the ‘Chief Minister’ status in terms of security and VIP hospitality.
Master Fazal added that as reported by Rising Kashmir, Chief Election Commissioner, N Gopalaswamy has told reporters in Jammu that the Commission was ceased of the matter and it will be looked into. ECI had received a complaint from some political party stating gross violation of MCC in respect of not downsizing the security and other facilities being enjoyed by Azad. Sources said that it has been pointed out that he continued to have a fleet of 26 vehicles allotted to him at the time of being Chief Minister. This includes several bullet-proof cars and other luxury and high-end vehicles. This security paraphernalia also requires a battery of security personnel drawn from Special Security Group (SSG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police, which is responsible for the security of Chief Ministers and former Chief Ministers. "This is the highest ever number of vehicles any Chief Minister has been using in Jammu and Kashmir in past 60 years" a top security official said (Rising Kashmir).
According to further story of the Rising Kashmir, it is not only the security. Azad has not even vacated any of the four houses under his occupation since the days of Chief Minister ship. He continues to hold the possession of Hari Niwas Palace which was renovated as Chief Minister's official residence at a whopping cost of around Rs 11 crores. He has also not vacated the Jammu and Kashmir Bank Guest House near Zeethyar Temple which he used as transit residence till Hari Niwas was completed. Sources revealed that the official residence of Chief Minister at Wazarat Road in Jammu has also not been vacated so far. Azad also continues to hold the possession of a palatial house in South Avenue in Delhi, which is the property of Jammu and Kashmir government. It was purchased in lieu of state owned property in Delhi. Azad insisted not to leave it after he took over as Chief Minister in 2005.
Though the former Chief Minister is entitled to have a house in Jammu and Srinagar in accordance with the law passed by NC government in 2000 but Azad is yet to shift to M A Road bungalow which was also renovated as Chief Minister's residence by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in 2003. It is under occupation of former Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Baig but allotted to Azad. He has also been allotted a house in Jammu, official sources said.
In contrast, two former Chief Ministers, Farooq Abdullah and Mufti Mohammad Sayeed have been allotted only six vehicles each, including those used by their security guards. Their predecessor Ghulam Mohammad Shah is poor enough with one car and two escort vehicles. While Farooq lives in his own houses in Jammu and Srinagar, Mufti is allotted official residences in both the capitals. Shah also has two official residences in Jammu and Srinagar but he has converted the latter into the headquarters of Awami National Conference, reports Rising Kashmir.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Anti Congress slogans rock villages of Bhaderwah

BHADERWAH, NOV 9: For the first time in the political history of Bhaderwah constituency, villagers in Chiralla belt of villages today rose anti Congress slogans and demanded white paper from the Congress leaders on the works done and money extracted from the state exchequer on the name of so called developmental works in villages of the constituency.
Relevant to mention here that the 'Villagers Force' which constitutes about 70 to 75 percent electorates of entire Bhaderwah constituency have already decided to vote for independent candidate Master (Retd.), Fazal Alam Wani, who is also an ex-serviceman.
Though, three main big political guns are in fray including Mohammed Aslam Goni of NC, Diya Krishan Kotwal of BJP and former Chief Minister (CM) Ghulam Nabi Azad of Congress besides other of PDP, JKNPP, SP, BSP etc but as the wave is going on there looks a straight contest between Ghulam Nabi Azad and Master Fazal Alam which could tilt either side.
Reports said that in Loharthawa and Sunarthawa villages of Chiralla, hundreds of people gathered and rocked the area raising slogans like…..'Jin Lutraoon Nay Hum Ko Loota Hai, Un Lutaroon Ko Hatana Hai'.
The people were agitated over the arrival of Congress President Distt Doda, Naresh Gupta in the area to organize an election rally.
However, Mohd. Iqbal Teli, Tehsil Thathri President Congress, admitted before the public that some local Congress leaders have done injustice with the villagers and assured that an inquiry will be initiated and if found wrongs done by the Congress leaders/workers he will quit the
However, Master Fazal intervened and appealed to the agitated mob not to discourage the visiting election campaign party of Congress and mentioned that every contesting party as well as individual has fundamental right to put his policies and ideas before the public on which people cool down and maintain the hospitality served food to the visiting Congress campaign party and soon dispersed off.
Meanwhile, Master Fazal Alam organized election rallies at Joura, Halaran, Sunarthawa, Binola, and Ghori. He said that the people living in villages have waked up and are now asking these parties what they have done for the villagers during last 60 years.
Master Fazal alleged that some mainstream political parties are unsung official machinery during the election campaign including some SPOs who have been allotted to some contesting candidates for security purpose. He further alleged that some employees of PDD are actively
involved in the election campaign and appealed to Election Commission (EC) to initiate and action and conduct an inquiry into the use of official machinery for election campaign.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

2008 elections likely to shake political history of Bhaderwah

As the majority of villagers in 54-Bhaderwah Assembly constituency have reportedly turned hostile against the mainstream political parties NC, BJP & Congress and the remaining are on the track, the 2008 elections in Jammu and Kashmir State are going to witness an unexpected political change from Bhaderwah constituency which is likely to shaking the political history of this constituency.
Till date constituency was represented by Chuni Lal of NC in 1957 and 1962 while as Jagat Ram and Bodh Raj of the Congress party won the 1967 and 1972 elections. Narayan Dass of JP won from here in 1977 while as H.L Hiteshi of NC wrested the seat in 1983. Hari Lal of Congress represented the constituency in 1987 while as Sheikh Abdul Rehman of BSP won from Bhaderwah in 1996, Mohammed Sharief Niaz in 2002 and due to the resignation of Niaz, by-election was held on 24th April, 2006 and Ghulam Nabi Azad of Congress was elected.
This time though all the three mainstream political parties BJP, NC and Congress have intensified their ground level campaign in the constituency to get best, yet people are not happy from BJP’s D.K Kotwal and NC’s Mohammed Aslam Goni, SP, JKNPP, and BSP.
According to electorates these two leaders of two mainstream political parties have not done anything for the people, particularly villagers. Though, the Congress candidate from Bhaderwah constituency and former Chief Minister (CM) Ghulam Nabi Azad had initiated some development works but were limited to either Bhaderwah city or his native village in Bhalessa, while the rest of constituency remained neglected.
Still there are many villages in the constituency which lack electricity, water, healthcare and road connectivity is the main problems of villagers which have forced them to revolt against these mainstream political parties this time and opt for a candidate amongst them.
This time villagers have decided to favour a local candidate whom they can approach any time at home. As per a survey conducted by Villagers Development Front, the people of villages which constitutes about 60-70 percent of the electorates have turned hostile towards these mainstream political parties and their favorite this time is an Ex-serviceman and retired educationist, Master Fazal Alam who hails from Chiralla belt of villages which have 14,099 eligible voters.
Relevant to mention here that the entire Bhaderwah constituency has 112 Polling Station out of which 97 are in and of villages while just 15 are in cities. According to survey conducted by the Forum, besides 14, 099 voters of Chiralla belt of villages, 11, 055 voters from Bhaderwah belt out of 44000 total and 8977 in Bhalessa belt out of total 34, 000 voters are almost confirmed to vote for Master Fazal Alam. 
The votes in Bhaderwah belt which are about 44, 000 have to be divided among several parties including JKNPP, BSP, SP and PDP. It is being projected that maximum number of voters in Bhaderwah belt particularly the city area which has some influence of separatists may stay away from the poll process. And if they do so, it is clear that Azad, and Mohammed Aslam Goni both leaders of main political parties have to bear the loss of votes if not cast. Which will ultimately benefit Master Fazal Alam who has the support of neglected section of the society…….’The Villagers Force,’ who have pledged to cast their votes at any cast to end the ignorance and suppression of city leaders.
In Bhalessa belt, out of 34, 000, about 9,000 voters are in Master Fazal’s favour while and as the wave is going on more and more villagers are joining Master Fazal, which is indicating that people of villages have decided this time not to vote form those who live in cities. “We have been casting votes in the past but when we have a problem to tell, no body is there to listen to us, where have to search for these leaders who some time stay in Jammu, Srinagar and Delhi, we have decided to elect a person who himself is a villager and whom we can approach any time,” said Shamas Din, a man in his 60s resident of a village in Bhalessa.
Mohammed Iqbal of Bhaderwah said, “We had voted for Azad last time but when a deputation of our villagers visited Jammu to meet him we were told several times that Azad Sahib is not available, and after staying for three weeks in hotels at Jammu, one day we got a chance to meet but that time we were told to write a application and submit to his Secretary and also discuss with him, I want to ask a question here, had we voted for Azad or that bureaucrat (Secretary)”.
Ashok Manhas who was earlier associated with BJP as an active and dedicated worker said, “We are villagers and we have to and should vote for a villager, these city leaders have always befooled us on emotional grounds some time on religious lines for their petty political gains, but now every villager has realized that until and unless a representative from villages is chosen, development of villagers is not possible.”
The total electors eligible to exercise their franchise in the constituency in 2008 elections are 94,173. Of these, 47,970 are male and 46,203 female voters. The number of polling stations to be set up in the constituency is 112, as compared to 107 in 2002 elections.
Mohammad Sharief Niaz of Congress was elected from this constituency in 2002 elections. He polled 16,962 votes and defeated his nearest NC rival Mohammad Aslam by a margin of 6,827 votes. Aslam received 10,135 votes. A total of 49,628 voters voted out of 91,478 registered electorates and the poll percentage was recorded at 54.25.