25 January, 2021
Making Narbal to Baramulla road world class my Dream : Advocate Irfan Hafeez Lone
Advocate Irfan Hafeez Lone is a well known Activist and lawyer , TV Debater of Kashmir who recently won the DDC election from prestigious Sangrama seat in North Kashmir defeating many political heavyweights .
In an exclusive interview with the News Kashmir he talks to Rameez Makhdoomi.
Why did you contest DDC elections as some thought it didn’t suit your personality?
I congested DDC election process with the aim to serve people as I was already in Public service . I had in past times too unsuccessfully contested electoral process . As far as Panchayat Raj act is concerned DDC is related to Development and people come to me for assistance and support . I thought in order to ease sufferings of my people who lag basic needs like water , Electricity as is case in my DDC constituency that I should contest . The second reason is even if one is Panch ,Sarpanch or Nambardar he or she should believe that we should legally and politically fight for getting our rights back guaranteed by Constitution of India ,and I also wanted that BJP and it’s proxies should be defeated .Anyone becoming Panch or DDC member or anything should remind that rights given to us by Constitution and constituent assembly of India need to be restored back. We need both legal and political fight to get back our rights .What would you do to end neglect of your area especially with reference to basic needs ?We will leave no stone unturned to end miseries of masses. Recently , when there was a heavy snowfall I on my own went to administration and got the snow cleared and I am thankful for their support .I went from village to village . We will do everything to see that basic needs of people are fulfilled. Promises made in Baramulla District. during back to village programmes need to be fulfilled . We would see MNREGA and all works are executed on time and people get their due plus DDC can play role in electricity ,water like issues . Standing committees on finance , health and education DDC members have a role to play . I appealed when I took oath to all the 14 DDC members of Baramulla for having a common thrust that we should jointly have for widening of road from Narbal to Baramulla , as this road is key to progress of Baramulla district . This road has become death trap and long traffic jams .Your take on who are the strong contenders for DDC Chairman for Baramulla District ?It is difficult to say which alliance or person would become DDC chairman. Some people say their is confusion regarding alphabet ordering of Baramulla or Budgam as one of these might get reserved meaning only women DDC Chairman. It is unfortunate to note that many political players are getting desperate even in Gupkar alliance to gain chairmanship which is disappointing. How far will DDC formula be successful in Jammu and Kashmir as previously it has been tried in Srilanka only ?We believe as far as this act is considered it provides Development at grasroot level , devolution of power at Gram Sabha level and meaning thereby common People of village will formulate Development plan . By virtue of Panchayat Raj act now we have District Development Council instead of previous District Development Board and the voting rights were with MLA , MP and now in DDC only these 14 members have voting rights and other powers in standing committees on fulfilling basic needs of masses.You defeated many political heavyweights in the DDC election . How do you view same ?The people have lot of expectations from me . They believe that I will work with full dedication and truth . Apart from Development , they expect I will play a role for the genuine political greiviance especially resolution of Kashmir problem . My people believe that I would be firm voice on restoration of our eschewed political rights . Although I never forget that I am a too small a person .Dont you believe revenge against those we fight electorally or don’t vote for us should be now a phenomenon of past ?I consider those who contested against me not as enemies but as political opponents . I have with them personnel relationship and all of us in Jammu, Kashmir ,Ladakh people should be united and have dailogue and fight for getting our stolen rights back . Internal fighting will take us nowhere .How far has been District Administration been cooperative towards your concerns so far ?
Administration of district has been highly cooperative . Although ,DDC is yet to be formally constituted but on respective level I have found the district administration of Baramulla highly cooperative.What would be your biggest dreams for your area as DDC member ?The biggest dream remains making Narbal Baramulla road world class and second dream is to have testing laboratories for Pesticides and other related agriculture products in our areas .
Your message to youth ?
My appeal to youth is that we are worst victims of emotional and exploitative fight and it is high time that we don’t just apply heart but mind too so as to work towards achievable solution.Since you have good acumen on agriculture being agriculturist yourself . Your take on Farmer issue in India ?I believe the Government should be serious towards concerns of farmers . Be it regard to abrogation of article 370 and conversion of State into UT when curfew was imposed and no opinion was taken from assembly, which was otherwise mandatory or other issues like CAA they excluded Muslims from citizenship benefits or these current farmer laws they didn’t consult farmers . Democracy is not just about elections and voting but it is about freedom of speech and above all taking every stakeholder on board .