‘Kashmir polls were not fair’
By Zafar Meraj
SRINAGAR: Former Held Kashmir minister and National Conference leader Shiekh Mustafa Kamal on Tuesday said Kashmir polls were not as “fair and free” as claimed by the Indian government.
In a written statement to Daily Times, he said all government agencies were party to the government’s plan to defeat the National Conference.
Kamal, the son of late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, said that not only the state and central administration, but the Election Commission of India to turned a blind eye to rigging in the polls.
Mustafa said the army “even captured booths in some of the pre-selected constituencies, including Gulmarg”, from where he was defeated with a huge margin of over 20, 000 voted by the PDP nominee Ghulam Hasan Mir now an important minister in the Mufti Syed led coalition government.
Saying that the assembly elections were not “unfettered,” Mustafa said that right from 1966 “agencies of the central government including the security forces used every means to discredit the National Conference government in the eyes of people and alienate them from the ruling party.” Mustafa said “harassment, intimidation and terror was their (security forces’) main tactics” and made a special mention of the army in this regard adding that even ministers were not spared by the forces.