Jammu: Describing elections as heartbeat of democratic system, ruling National Conference on Monday said that divisive politics posed the biggest threat to the survival of democracy in the country.
"Politics based on religion, hatred is dangerous for democracy. Divisive politics poses biggest threat to the survival to democracy," senior NC leader and Minister for Finance Abdul Rahim Rather said at a public meeting at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan today.
"Democracy is all about initiating a healthy debate and seeking mandate on a manifesto rather than vitiating the situation by exploiting religious and regional sentiments of the people," he said.
The Finance Minister expressed concern over the emergence of divisive forces, terming it a bad omen for democracy.
Without naming any party, he exhorted the people to alienate both the individuals and their parties for perpetrating "myopic politics".
He said the call for Lok Sabha elections has been given and the preparations for it will begin soon, adding it will be the time when people will have to consciously choose whom to vote - "those who believe in politics of exploiting religion or those above all these considerations".
Rather emphasised on secularism, socialism and democracy referring to the Preamble of the Constitution and said these ideals were the "foundations of National Conference" nurtured by former Chief Minister Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah.
"These cherished ideals are the pillars of strong foundations of National Conference nurtured by Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah," Rather said, hoping that secularism will continue to guide the nation.
Rather asked those believing in sectarian politics to understand the real meaning of democracy and seek mandate on the basis of their manifesto, irrespective of religious and regional aspirations.
The Finance Minister hailed the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for introducing the public hearing system and said this gives the government functionaries a feel of issues and welcomed the people seeking solutions to their problems.
Rather lauded the people of Jammu for exhibiting high degree of camaraderie when people from Kashmir moved over to this part of the state during times of distress and hoped that the people of Jammu would maintain their glorious tradition and reject the politics of deceit and deception.
Party Provincial President Devender Singh Rana said the National Conference has been performing the role of a bridge between the people and the government.
He said public hearings are open to people in general, as his party believes in the oneness of the people of the state.
"National Conference has always risen above politics and worked for inclusive development of all the regions of the state besides satiating the urges and aspirations of the people as a whole," he said.