NC never allowed democracy to grow in J&K: Mehbooba



Jammu: The opposition People's Democratic Party on Sunday flayed the ruling National Conference in Jammu and Kashmir alleging it did not allow democracy to flourish in the state with the sole objective of remaining in power.

Seeking people's mandate, the PDP said it alone could provide a better alternative to the people by strengthening democratic institutions at the grassroot levels.

"The NC leadership has never allowed democracy to flourish in J and K since 1947. The NC has brazenly used undemocratic means to remain in power," PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said.

Addressing a rally here to celebrate the 13th year of PDP's formation, she alleged all the elections till 2002 were tailored to suit the NC to form governments in the state.

"From 1947 to 2002, the NC did not allow strengthening of democratic institutions in the state because instability in the system as well as in the state suits the party," she said.

Charging the Omar Abdullah government with eroding democratic institutions, the PDP head said "civic bodies polls were scheduled to be held in February 2010 but the government has been delaying these as it is not interested in delegating powers."

She said the PDP would focus on the youth and the party had become a teenager now after it entered the 13th year of its existence.

Batting for making Jammu and Kashmir a gateway to the Central Asia, she said "we want Jammu and Kashmir to be made a free economic zone".

PTI