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2 weeks ago

PDP’s Waheed Para Defends ‘referendum’ Remark in Response to J-K Poll Body’s Notice

Srinagar: The PDP’s Srinagar Lok Sabha seat candidate Waheed Para on Friday wrote to the Jammu and Kashmir election department, defending his remark appealing to Kashmiri youngsters to consider the ongoing general election as a “referendum” to send New Delhi a “message”.

 

Para’s response comes after the poll body issued a notice objecting to the remark and sought an explanation. The election department also asked the PDP leader to refrain from making statements that have the potential to aggravate differences among communities.

 

In his two-page reply to the nodal officer in-charge of the Model Code of Conduct implementation in Srinagar, Para said his statement was “taken out of context and the inference drawn there from is based on conjectures and surmises being thus utterly unwarranted”.

 

“Though, the statement made does not require any clarification, however, for the sake of greater clarity, it is submitted that the reference to the aspect that the ‘ensuing election is no less than a referendum’, only points towards the importance the present election holds and nothing else,” Para added.

 

He also said that any other inference drawn by any person was not his “intendment” and as such, cannot be attributed to him.

 

Referring to the PDP leader’s statement, the notice issued to him said, “…this act of yours has the potential of aggravating the differences among communities and can cause discontentment in the society… you are asked to refrain from issuing such statement forthwith and also to make clear the exact context and message you wanted to convey….”

 

Giving para-wise reply to the notice, Para said his statement regarding “people’s silence” or the fact that “people of Kashmir are not happy with New Delhi” were purely electoral issues that he as a contesting candidate seeking the mandate of the people was lawfully entitled to agitate on and the same cannot be construed to be a violation of the MCC.

 

Para said the statement pertaining to the fact that youths are “languishing in jail” and “children are caught in drug addiction” represent “the problems of Kashmir” and the same were also pressing electoral issues.

 

“… any misgivings with respect to the statements as reproduced in the notice under reply are completely clarified by the fact that the undersigned in the same statement has expressly stated that he wants the issues raised ‘to be addressed by the Parliament of India’,” he added.

 

Para also claimed no part of his statement as reproduced in the notice amounted to a violation of the MCC.

 

“Talking to media persons on the sidelines of a party convention in Srinagar on April 20, Para had said there was a need to convey to New Delhi that the “people of Kashmir are not happy” and have apprehensions about the safeguarding of their identity, land and contracts.

 

“…entire generation is slipping away from us, children caught in drug addiction, educated under depression and future generation is in danger… to save this, we want people to take this election not less than a referendum and send a message to New Delhi that people are not happy…,” he had said then.”

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