AIP to stay away from LS by-polls

Published at March 21, 2017 01:08 AM 0Comment(s)1935views

Referendum only solution to Kashmir issue: Rasheed

Javid Ahmad


 Announcing that his party will stay away from upcoming Lok Sabha (LS) by-polls, Awami Itihad Party chief and MLA Langate, Er Rasheed Monday said they were in favor of elections but it has nothing to do with Kashmir issue.
“It would not be suitable to connect elections with Kashmir issue. It is our view that whether it is Assembly election of Parliamentary, in changing situations the world understands the language of democracy,” Rasheed said while addressing a press conference at Hotel Lala Rukh in Srinagar.
Stating that Assembly or Parliament is a platform where we can express ourselves.
Rasheed lambasted the main political parties including National Conference and Congress sayin: “They have not only disappointed Kashmiris but have also created a situation where one feels ashamed to seek votes, as these parties have always tried to represent New Delhi in Kashmir rather than representing Kashmir in New Delhi by acting like collaborators.”
While announcing party’s non-participation in upcoming Lok Sabha by-polls, Rasheed said the atmosphere is not conducive for polls keeping in view the terrible events that happened during the last eight months.
“By calling people to vote and pitching candidates is probably not suitable. Our fight is for referendum in Kashmir,” He said and termed the election timing totally wrong.
The party’s announcement comes a day after it constituted a committee to decide whether or not to contest Lok Sabha by-polls in Srinagar and Anantnag constituencies. Lok Sabha polls are scheduled to be held on April 9 in Srinagar and April 12 in Anantnag constituency.
Stating Kashmir issues was not religious but a political issue, Rasheed said participation or non-participation in polls and contesting or boycotting elections will have no effect on it (Kashmir Issue).
“Let the people decide, they have got a golden opportunity. People don’t need sermons by me or anyone else,” MLA Langate said while reiterating that the decision not to participate in upcoming by-polls is aimed at informing the world that India is going to hold election in Kashmir at a time when “bullets and pellets are raining everywhere”.
Asked whether his statement was contradictory, Rasheed said they want to provide a transparent platform to the public where they can openly talk about referendum.
“Contesting election under Indian constitution is a compulsion and it does not make us Indians. We believe that India is an occupier here and J&K is not a part of India,” he said.
Maintaining that referendum is the only solution to Kashmir issue, Rasheed said election will continue until the referendum is held and the case of referendum would not get weak by elections.
“My party would raise voice in favor of referendum till death. We are not going to participate in elections but we will campaign for referendum,” AIP chief said.
While suggesting that democratic institutions were being bulldozed in J&K by India, AIP chief said, “If India is really is a big democracy, then it should come forward and try to resolve Kashmir issue by taking on board all the stakeholders.”
He said party’s future course of action will depend on the ground situation and New Delhi’s response to situation in Kashmir.


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