J&K poll body issues notice to PDP’s Srinagar candidate Waheed Para over ‘referendum’ remark

SRINAGAR — The Jammu and Kashmir poll body has asked PDP candidate Waheed Para to explain his statement urging Kashmir’s youngsters to consider the general elections as a “referendum” to send New Delhi a message, and asked him refrain from making utterances that may aggravate differences among communities.

The notice issued by the nodal officer for the Model Code of Conduct on Wednesday gave Para two days to respond.

“…this act of yours has the potential of aggravating the differences among communities and can cause discontentment in the society… you are asked to refrain from issuing such statement forthwith and also to make clear the exact context and message you wanted to convey to the people and also to clarify your position to the District Election Officer, Srinagar, within two days…,” it read.

The notice further said that non-compliance with the notice would invite action under the law.

When contacted, Para said he owed allegiance to the Constitution of the country and by using the word “referendum”, he wanted to ask people to come out in large numbers to vote so that the dream of democracy could flourish.

The notice further mentioned that as per the MCC guidelines, any activity that may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes, communities or religious or linguistic groups is not be attempted.

The PDP’s Srinagar candidate recently appealed to Kashmir’s youngsters to consider the general elections as a “referendum” to send to New Delhi a message about their “dissatisfaction” with the Centre’s decisions post-August 2019.

Para, who is also the youth wing chief of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), had said there is a need to send a message “that you (New Delhi) should not accept the silence of Kashmir as its acceptance”.

“Do not think they (people of Kashmir) are happy with you (on decisions post August 2019). They are not. There are many reasons behind it. The future of the people, especially youngsters, is uncertain,” he had added. — (PTI)