MY KOLKATA EDUGRAPH
ADVERTISEMENT
regular-article-logo Tuesday, 18 June 2024

‘Unexpected’ support for Kashmir’s Engineer: Sheikh Abdul Rashid back in poll fray

Former Congress veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad’s Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) has announced its support for the jailed Awami Ittehad Party leader in the Baramulla seat

Muzaffar Raina Srinagar Published 18.05.24, 06:54 AM
Abrar Rashid campaigns for his father Sheikh Abdul Rashid in Beerwah

Abrar Rashid campaigns for his father Sheikh Abdul Rashid in Beerwah Sourced by the Telegraph

Jailed Awami Ittehad Party leader Sheikh Abdul Rashid aka Engineer Rashid, who is locked in a contest with heavyweights Omar Abdullah and Sajad Lone for the Baramulla seat in Jammu and Kashmir, seems no longer a pariah politician for his rivals following a formidable election campaign by his party.

Support seems to be pouring in for Rashid, languishing in Tihar jail, after he was dumped for years by politicians of all hues.

ADVERTISEMENT

Former Congress veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad’s Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) has announced its support for the jailed politician in the Baramulla seat.

“Engineer Rashid is innocent and people want him out of jail. He has always fought for the people’s cause, so this is injustice,” senior DPAP leader Taj Mohiuddin said.

He appealed to the voters to vote for Rashid in the constituency.

“Engineer Rashid has consistently fought for the people. Therefore, we feel it’s important to stand by someone who has made sacrifices,” DPAP chief spokesman Salman Nizami said.

DPAP leader Shoaib Lone, a former legislator, has quit his party to campaign for Rashid. There are reports he might join Rashid’s party.

Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti also rallied in support of Rashid’s aide who has been purportedly picked up by police.

“Shoukat Pandit — Engineer Rashid’s main campaigner — has been picked up by @JmuKmrPolice & detained at Chugal police station. This has been done on the behest of those who want to prevent him from campaigning & thus help their proxy candidate instead. Democracy is being ripped apart in Kashmir,” Mehbooba wrote on X.

The report of his arrest could not be independently confirmed.

Abrar Rashid, Engineer Rashid’s son who is leading the campaign in his absence, said the government had cancelled the permission to his party to hold a “public mega rally at Handwara”.

“We appeal to all our voters, supporters and sympathisers to vehemently carry a door-to-door campaign in favour of jailed leader Engineer Rashid and be vigilant, patient and alert against any malicious propaganda against our party and its leadership,” he said.

Thousands — men and women, mostly young — have been gathering in every corner of the Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency since the past fortnight, vowing to avenge Rashid’s long detention through their vote.

Local politicians have either seen him as a threat to their own brand of politics or were simply unwilling to offend the government.

Follow us on:
ADVERTISEMENT