STATE TIMES NEWS
Jammu: The Apni Party on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to resolve protocol power and honorarium issues of DDC members, alleging that the bureaucracy has always attempted to uproot the democratic edifice in Jammu and Kashmir.This comes on a day District Development Council (DDC) members called off their two-day protest to demand adequate powers and monthly honorarium, saying they have got an assurance from Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and will meet him on Friday.The protest began a day after the Jammu and Kashmir administration amended its warrant of precedence, placing DDC chairpersons at par with administrative secretaries, vice-chairpersons with vice-chancellors of universities, and DDC members with district magistrates.In a statement, Apni Party president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari said protocol powers and honorarium announced for the recently elected DDC chairpersons and members exposed the mindset of the bureaucratic set-up that has never wanted democracy to flourish in Jammu and Kashmir due to its ulterior motives.“The humiliating protocol powers and honorarium announced by the government for DDC chairpersons and council members are in absolute contradiction to what the prime minister and the Union home minister had envisaged for these elected representatives of the people,” he said.The Apni Party leader sought the intervention of Modi and Shah in the matter.He urged them to resolve it as per their vision with regard to strengthening the democratic edifice in Jammu and Kashmir.Bukhari said he hoped that by now the government of India must have gauged that the bureaucracy has always tried to uproot the democratic edifice in this politically sensitive part of the country.He said the bureaucracy in Jammu and Kashmir has always displayed an uncalled-for repulsion towards democratically elected institutions and representatives in the union territory.“Just to retain their clout in decision making I believe the bureaucratic set-up should help strengthen the democratic institutions at the grassroots level if they really want to serve the people in J&K,” he remarked.Bukhari claimed almost all political parties in Jammu and Kashmir are on the same page on this issue.“I also appeal to the DDC chairpersons and council members not to lose hope and consider en masse resignation as the last resort to get this issue resolved,” he said.Earlier, the BJP had extended support to the protesting DDC members and urged LG Sinha to consider their demands with an open heart.Peoples Conference president and former minister Sajad Lone had also expressed disappointment over the lowering of the status of the DDC chairpersons, vice-chairpersons and members, and blamed the bureaucrats for it.
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