Notice issued to Waheed Parra over ‘election as referendum’ remark

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KC NEWS DESK

Srinagar:   The district election authorities in Srinagar issued a notice to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the Srinagar parliament constituency over his statement that “youth should not treat this election less than a referendum”.

As per the notice issued by Nodal Officer MCC Srinagar, Parra has been asked to explain his statement urging Kashmir’s youngsters “to consider the general elections as a referendum” and asked him that being one of the candidates for the Srinagar parliamentary constituency, he has to adhere to the proper procedure in terms of general conduct as well.

Parra has been asked to refrain from making utterances that may aggravate differences among communities and directed to respond within two days.

“This act of yours has the potential of aggravating the differences among communities and can cause discontentment in the society. We urge you to refrain from making statements that may exacerbate tensions among communities, as this could lead to discontent in society,” the notice reads.

“It is essential that you clarify the context and intended message to the people, and also explain your stance to the District Election Officer, Srinagar, within two days,” it reads

The authorities have stated that failure to comply may result in legal action.

The nodal officer Model Code of Conduct (MCC) has stated that according to the MCC guidelines, any activity that could heighten existing differences or incite hatred between different castes, communities, or religious and linguistic groups should be avoided.

“A recent media clip has been noticed on social media wherein in a media interaction at Srinagar you have conveyed the verbatim of which is reproduced hereunder as the aim of this election is not to ascertain who is contesting against us but the people of Kashmir particularly youth should not treat this election less than a referendum, your vote should be your referendum and a message needs to be conveyed to the New Delhi that people’s silence here should not be construed as their contentment. The future of youth is uncertain, people are scared and uncertain about their security. The youth of Srinagar are trendsetters and anything they decide becomes a trend in the Valley,” the Nodal Officer said.

The Nodal Officer MCC Srinagar has reproduced the statement of Parra wherein he said: “The issue is to convey to New Delhi that people of Kashmir are not happy with New Delhi and people have apprehension about the safeguard of their identity, lands, contracts and other resources and for the safeguard of this they want reassurance from the parliament. It is not about August 5, 2019, only but about the problem of Kashmir as an entire. We have lost thousands of people, particularly youth, many are in jail, many others lost, generations have been lost, entire generations are slipping away from us, children caught in drug addiction, educated are under depression and the future generation is in danger. And 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 with them and they want to be heard they want their issues and fears to be addressed by the Parliament of India.”

The Nodal Officer MCC has said that it had explicitly been mentioned in the MCC guidelines that any activity which might aggravate existing differences, or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes, communities or religious or linguistic groups shall not be attempted.

“Whereas this act of yours has the potential of aggravating the differences among communities and can cause discontentment in the society,” the notice reads. “Keeping in view the above and through the medium of this notice, you are asked to refrain from issuing such statements forthwith and also to make clear, the exact context and message you wanted to convey to the people and also to clarify your position in this regard to the District Election Officer, Srinagar within two days of issuance of this notice, which otherwise would be construed as non-compliance and will evoke action under the law.”

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