Srinagar, May 11: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad came down heavily on separatist leaders for opposing assembly elections and cautioned people against machinations of such forces trying to exploit masses for personal interests.
Without naming anyone he said the children of common man were made to fall prey to bullets during militancy when their own wards pursued careers and business outside the State, Mr Azad said at a public meeting at Handwara in the frontier district of Kupwara.
The Chief Minister said emotional blackmailing and exploitation of innocents was their business for livelihood and amassing wealth and property.
However, he said people have now understood the motive of these leaders and politicking will no more succeed.
''These elements make statements detrimental to development and mar tourism and economy. We will not allow them to do so'', he asserted.
Asking people to come out in large numbers and elect their representatives, he said that by exercising democratic right people could elect the government of their choice and ensure development in all areas.
He said vote was the power in the hands of people by which they could create an honest, responsible and effective political system.
''If you donot use your this important democratic power, you lose the opportunity to transform the society for better,'' he said and cautioned the people against those who want them not to use voting power.
The breakaway Hurriyat Conference and some other militant organisations have asked people to boycott the assembly polls.
Mr Azad said, ''we are determined to take the State to new highs of progress and carry forward the massive development projects launched for welfare of poor and economic stability of the State.'' The Chief Minister said militancy inflicted heavy losses on the State's economy and progress besides irrecoverable loss of precious lives.
''We have to pull the State out of this economic distress and ensure rapid development in all sectors to generate jobs and create public service infrastructure.'' However, he added peace was pre-requisite for development and roping in outside investors in the State for mega development projects.