The IAS officer-turned-politician Shah Faesal on Saturday said his recently formed party won’t contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in the state.
“Our party (J&K Peoples Movement) is in infancy stage and needs to be strengthened before taking the poll plunge,” Faesal said while addressing a press conference at Press club, here.
Faesal launched the J&K Peoples Movement (JKPM) last Sunday.
“The party is not limited to me only now. It has moved on. People from across the state are joining us. So, it will be a hasty decision to contest upcoming Lok sabha polls,” he said. “We will focus on public contact programmes.”
Faesal, who had quit the civil service job in January this year, said the party’s decision, has also put into rest the accusations of him being New Delhi’s plant to either reaffirm the boycott or divide the vote bank in the Valley.
“Those who were feeling that our party was launched by centre for electoral manipulation, by this step we also want to answer those people and their organisations as well,” Faesal said. “We are not here to spill any political party, if that could have been the case then party would have contested the upcoming elections.”
He said the party’s aim is not to grab power but they are here for a longer battle that includes restoring political aspirations and developmental rights of people.
Asked which party the JKPM would support in Lok sabha polls, Faesal said the party would announce it later.
“We believe that people should vote, irrespective whether our party is fighting elections or not. People need to choose right people to represent them in parliament,” he said.
The 2010-batch IAS topper resigned in January this year to protest unabated killings in Kashmir and marginalisation of Indian Muslims.
Faesal also condemned custodial death of private school teacher from Awantipora area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district and ban on JKLF led by Muhammad Yasin Malik.
Calling the ban on JKLF “anti-democratic”, he said, “The politics we are witnessing in the state and in the country, I won’t be surprised if tomorrow mainstream parties too are banned to let the BJP and RSS win in Kashmir.”
He said banning political organisation like JKLF would further shrink democratic space in the state.
On custodial death of school teacher Rizwan Pandit from Awantipora, Faesal said only a judicial inquiry could be an appropriate move to get into the bottom of this incident.
“We have been saying it all along that with a magisterial probe, the officers under which the person was imprisoned should be arrested,” he said.
Faesal said the leadership shown by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern after the terror attack on Muslims in two mosques should serve as an eye opener for leaders in south Asia.