Describing elections as heartbeat of democratic system, senior National Conference leader and Minister for Finance Mr Abdul Rahim Rather on Monday said that divisive politics poses biggest threat to the survival of democracy in the country.
“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”, Mr Rather said while interacting with various deputations during the public-hearing at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan this morning.
“This is the time when people will have to make a right and conscious decision whether to vote for those who believe in politics of exploiting religion or those above all these considerations”, he said and referred to the preamble of the Constitution which emphasizes on secularism, socialism and democracy.
“These cherished ideals, in fact, are the pillars of strong foundations of National Conference nurtured by Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah’ Mr Rather said adding that secularism defines a State not governed by religion. He hoped that this pillar of the democratic polity will continue to guide the nation. He exhorted those believing in sectarian politics to understand the real meaning of democracy and feel free to seek mandate on the basis of their manifesto aimed at public good, irrespective of religious and regional aspirations.
The Finance Minister hailed the initiative of the Chief Minister in introducing public hearing system and said this gives the functionaries of the government a feel of public issues through feedback received from various quarters. He welcomed those coming from different disciplines of life to seek solution to their problems and lauded Jammuities for exhibiting high degree of camaraderie when people from Kashmir moved over to this part of the State during times of distress. He hoped that the people of Jammu will maitainin their glorious tradition and reject the politics of deceit and deception.
Spelling out the broad contours of the public hearing introduced by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in the winter and summer capitals early this year, Provincial President Mr Devender Singh Rana said that National Conference has been performing the role of a bridge between the people and the government. He said public hearings are not confined to the workers of National Conference alone but these are open to people in general, as his party believes in the oneness of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“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 maintained.