I would refurbish the face of
entire Bandipora Assembly
Constituency once elected: Sameer Iqbal Bhat
Hailing from Bandipora area of North
Kashmir, Sameer Iqbal Bhat is a young businessman and is known for his social
and political activities in Bandipora Constituency. Bhat was born in 1977 in Kaloosa area of Bandipora District district and is an emerging and young Politician, Bhat Started his Political Journey in the year 2015 with National Conference. Bhat is a businessman by profession. Being from a non business family, he took a challenge to start a small business in sale & service of computers. He was associated with intex technology as a distributor for Kashmir and later was associated with other other Multinational companies like samsung, HCL, Toshiba, Sahara and was Awarded by Europe and USA in the year 2008 and 2015 respectively. In the year 2009, Bhat started business with havelet Packard india Pvt Ltd as a volume core partner for printer division and started a retail out of HP. During business days, he was very much interested in social activities.
In a exclusive interview with News Kashmir Magazine, Bhat Talks with our correspondent Nasir Khuehami about the present Political Scenario of Kashmir, Development issues of his Constituency and various Issues. Here are the Excerpts of Interview.
Q1. Can you introduce yourself, your earlier life and your journey to NC?
Ans: I am a resident of Kaloosa Bandipora. I came from a humble background. I am businessman by profession. Being from a non business family, I took a challenge to start a small business in sale & service of computers. I was associated with intex technology as a distributor for Kashmir and later i was associated with other other Multinational companies like samsung, HCL, Toshiba, Sahara. In the year 2009, I started business with have let Packard india Pvt Ltd as a volume core partner for printer division and started a retail out of HP. During business days, I was very much interested in social activities. During my early life I was very inspired by some persons and I intended to be a Public Servant. During my business, I realized that there is more than one way to contribute to the society. I became particularly interested in Political Activism and in the year 2015 I made my mind to join National Conference. NC is the party which is peoples’ friendly and its agenda is for the public welfare. Ever since I started my political career my first aim has been to serve my people, to work for them. Moreover I wanted to choose a party where I could serve my people.
Q2. What is your viewpoint about PDP?
They Often Blamed that Omar Abdullah Led NC hanged Afzal Guru, Killed many civilians during 2010 Uprising, Your take?
Ans: See, a party cannot befool people with fake promises. PDP has blood on their hands, and has failed miserably and couldn’t do anything for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. PDP sold their Self rule, Azadi, for the sake of chair. People are intelligent enough now and have power to elect who they feel is the fittest.
Q3. Do you think Previous dispensation has failed totally on Moral Grounds?
Ans: We saw nothing on ground level during their tenure. PDP was extending every possible support to the BJP in eroding special Status of State. This Party sold whole kashmir for being in power. During 2104, PDP demanded votes to keep BJP at bay, but later on they joined hands with the same Party. Previous Dispensation totally failed, when it comes to Ground Level. Previous PDP- BJP alliance was totally unholy and were responsible for the agony and anguish among the people. People will never forgive both the parties for betrayal and damages caused to peace and development in the State. The Previous insensitive coalition government has pushed people to the wall, as unemployment has increased, prices have risen and developmental activities have suffered a huge dent. People in all the three regions have realized that the vote to PDP BJP in 2014 elections has brought death and destruction only, as a result they were feeling dejected over the way they are being treated. PDP & BJP have failed people on every count, as no development has taken place.
Q4, Please tell us about Bandipora Constituency?
Ans: Bandipora is an interesting place and is known for three things, Alim (knowledge), Adab (good Habit) Aab (Fresh Water). The Bandipora constituency is one of the most beautiful areas in North Kashmir. This constituency is predominantly rural and its residents are facing multiple problems including broken roads, the dearth of potable water and inadequate health and education facilities. People have been facing immense hardships especially those living in forest areas due to the non-availability of basic amenities in the vicinity. Bandipora has been ignored by all the previous regimes and has become politically orphan since 90’s. People in far place especially have been made to suffer on every count, even they had been denied the basic facilities they deserved. Our successive representatives have pushing the Bandipora into an abyss of darkness, even being the headquarter of District. The healthcare facilities are non-existent in the Constituency. The roads are in a shambles and the public education system is in utter disarray.
Q5. NC, oldest party of the state, being in power for most of the time is accused of eroding the special status of the state. How far is it correct?
Ans: This accusation is totally Baseless and Concocted. It is because of the untiring efforts of Sheikh Sahib and his colleagues that Article 370 was incorporated in the Constitution of India.
It will, therefore, be appropriate to say that National Conference is the architect of Article 370. No one Can remove Article 35-A and Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir. This is the state’s heritage, its legacy. Don’t forget that J&K acceded to India on certain terms and conditions as represented by Articles 35A and 370.
Q6. Do you think Previous Government has miserably failed to mitigate the sufferings of tribal Community and instead using them for Petty vote bank politics?
Ans: Yes, there is no doubt that PDP Govt has miserably failed to mitigate the sufferings of tribal Community and instead using them for Petty Vote Bank Politics. The systematic neglect which the Gujjars faced over the past years was due to the exploitative politics of PDP which has pushed the community to the wall. This Party has always used Gujjars, Bakerwals, Pahari’s as its vote bank and audience for its public meetings and did nothing concrete in return for their social and educational uplift. National Conference is committed to work for their welfare. Gujjars are an important section of the society but, unfortunately, the benefits of development have not reached them, as the previous dispensation has never allowed it to happen.
Q7: What is your agenda on developing
Bandipora as it is currently one of the least developed areas of State?
Ans: Yes it is harsh reality that successive governments have ignored Bandipora and its elected representatives have failed to take
up its case in a desired manner.
Bandipora Constituency has been ignored by all the previous regimes and has become politically orphan since 90’s. I would refurbish the face of entire Bandipora Assembly Constituency once elected. Granting eco tourism status to different areas of Bandipora is my top concern so that meaningful avenues of employment are generated for youth. Ensuring basic amenities like uninterrupted power supply and water supply is my top concern.
Q8. What is your own Role in NC?
Ans: I wanted to work for the party and i have been opportunity to serve the party as Youth Joint Secretary. I am Satisfied with the assignment, i have been given in the Party.
Q9. Is NC facing internal bickering in Bandipora Constituency?
Ans: No. Who says so! Is there any evidence? If there is a bickering, it is somewhere else and not in our party. We have a collective leadership. We have many other leaders; Have anybody from them said anything about any bickering in the party in Bandipora.
Q10. Will there pre-poll alliance or a post-poll alliance with Congress Party!
Ans: I don’t know what the decision will be. It is for the working committee to decide. Whatever the party high command decides, we as soldiers of the party will follow. So far I am concerned; we are here to strengthen the party in all areas of the Bandipora as true soldiers of the party. The call on alliance lies with top leadership Farooq Abdullah sahib and Omar Abdullah sahib .
Q11. Apart from Roads and other developmental issues, what are your top priorities?
Ans: As you know, Wullar lake is located in Bandipora and it is not just the pride of Bandipora, but of entire kashmir as it is one of the largest fresh water lake in asia. Since many decades the Lake is dying due to official Negligence, encroachment and weeds, it needs sustained conservation efforts to make the Wullar project successful and achieve its objectives. I am trying hard to save wullar lake and its beauty in every manner and help it regaining lost Glory. Granting eco tourism status to different
areas of Bandipora is my top concern so
that meaningful avenues of employment are generated for youth.