DDC Poll Results Prove PAGD real Representative of Masses : Dr.Harbakash Singh
Spokesperson People’s Democratic Party and recent winning candidate of
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in DDC polls Dr. Harbakash Singh is an eminent politician of Kashmir . He is popularly known as Shanty and defeated his nearest rival Trilok Singh of Congress by a margin of over by 982 votes. A resident of Kavil village in Tral sub-district, Harbakash started his political career as a student and was provincial president of NSUI Kashmir for many years. He has also served as PRO to senior PDP leader and former cabinet minister Naeem Akhkter for four years during the PDP-BJP coalition government.
He is often seen in TV debates of national media representing the party views with full vigour .In an exclusive interview, he talks to Farzana Mumtaz and Rameez Makhdoomi .Excerpts:
How was it possible for you to win from Muslim majority area despite belonging to minority Sikh Community?
It is biggest honour for me to get elected from Muslim majority area . I am highly grateful to my party People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and especially Party Chief Mehbooba Mufti for reposing full faith on me . I am highly thankful to people of Tral .I have been working here since long as RTI and Social activist . I have been doing diverse philanthropic activities here in Tral and was able to also in pandemic Covid provide many Oxygen cylinders to patients in Tral and also hundreds of food kits to the people of Tral . I have also been running many Food kitchens in Jammu and Kashmir .When I was with Nayeem Akthar Sahab in ministry I tried to do best for Tral and also on TV and other media raised issues and pain of Kashmiris especially about attack on our ethos and identity.
As a DDC member I would via my efforts try to make Tral a model area which others would replicate as great example . People should say via my work that they need me as Assembly representative as well.
How do you view success of PAGD Alliance in DDC polls ?This alliance of major political Parties National Conference, People’s Democratic Party and other parties had happened before the 5 August ,2019 developments when we had fears our rights would be robbed . The performance of our alliance PAGD was excellent in DDC and we this time did not leave field open for BJP as had happened in few polls like in Panch and Sarpanch . If we would not have fought this DDC election it would have been betrayal to hopes of people .No big leader of PAGD sought votes because just election is not our motive but Gupkar alliance seeks bringing back our stolen rights.
Wouldn’t the post of Chairman in respective DDCs create rift between PDP, NC and other PAGD parties ?
No not at all .We as PDP party would not create any issue on who among our alliance gets post of the Chairman . Be it NC, PDP ,PC , Communist party ,ANC, etc we are all in alliance and does not matter who among our parties gets post of DDC Chairman in the Districts .How many Districts realistically speaking you feel would PAGD alliance get the prestigious post of DDC hairman ?Going by the verdict, I believe we would get DDC Chairman as PAGD in more than ten districts .Some districts in Kashmir like Srinagar have large number of Independent ,do you feel here BJP would get Chairman post ?It all depends on whether there would be horse trading of Independents or not . Also any Independent getting elected should remember what he or she got mandate from people for . This result shows mostly they got this mandate as vote against BJP and they need to remember it .DDC as an institution how much effective you see it as a neutral voice leaving politics aside for a minute ?We still don’t know it’s effective as Institution yet as we are still to go through its by laws and powers . Until we don’t know complete nomenclature we can’t comment on ins and outs of DDC as an institution .We would but not let people down who voted for us .
Would PAGD alliance last in Assembly elections as well?I have told you in beginning that more than for vote our alliance in PAGD is ideological and based on burning issues like restoring our identity back and getting our rights back . I on personnel level feel this alliance would continue in Assembly elections.BJP is making taller claims that for first time ever in DDC polls the lotus bloomed from places like Kakapora and Ballhama ,your take ?The 40 DDC seats we won from Jammu region and seats we won even from Nowshera the region which is home of BJP President what about that .The real victory is ours that despite having faced millions hardships we won dozens of seats from Jammu region and if BJP won few seats from Kashmir we respect the mandate as it is beauty of democracy .How will you try to raise issue of Kashmiri Sikh Community like getting minority status ?Whatever is in my powers I would try to solve issues of my community . Our community is neglected community and be it in terms of jobs or getting reservations, Punjabi language issues and minority status issues I would try to forcefully raise it and get it resolved .How is current mood in PDP like ?
PDP mood is buoyant and we have iron will that despite having faced so much threats and allegations people reposed faith on us . People also have us given message via DDC polls that PDP and PAGD are real representative of Jammu and Kashmir.Will you try to solve day to day issues of People of Jammu and Kashmir via DDC as people face huge issues ?We will have to solve issues of People as they are facing lot of issues with reference to basic facilities . The grasroot members of PAGD via DDC will try to solve and concentrate on basic issues of masses and our higher ups are already involved in bigger mission .Since you are also among prominent media faces of PAGD , do you feel a Powerful BJP currently at Center would listen to your demands on restoration of article 370 ?Whatever was given to us was given to us by constitution of India and we would fight for our rights legally and politically . We would not fight for our rights through barrel of gun but via legal means .
Lastly , how much delighted was prominent leader of Your party Naeem Akthar on your success who has been real close to you ?All throughout my political Journey Naeem Akthar Sahab has been my mentor and guiding force . It was unfortunate that one day before verdict he was taken into detention . Here I condemn detentions of all PAGD leaders as BJP rather than fighting us politically is using power to fight us personally which is bad for democracy .