CPI (M) decides not to participate in upcoming UBL, Panchayat polls in JK

‘Govt’s decision to go ahead with ULB, Panchayat polls shows arrogance of BJP-led central govt’ 

Srinagar: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has decided not to participate in the upcoming Panchayat and Urban Local Bodies elections keeping the prevailing situation in Kashmir in consideration.

State Secereary CPI(M) Ghulam Nabi Malik, in a statement said that despite majority of mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir deciding not to participate in these polls shows the arrogance of the BJP-led Central Government.

“The representatives of mainstream political parties had raised some issues, including linking of these elections by both the Central and State governments with the plea in Supreme Court on the issue of Article 35-A and the special status of the state. It was wrong on behalf of the Government to use polls as a reason to seek deferment of Article 35-A in the SC. The mainstream political parties had also urged the Center’s to clear its stand over Article 35A before announcing ULB and Panchayat elections,” the statement said.

The statement further pointed out that the political parties in the state were also demanding the shifting of additional solicitor general of India Tushar Mehta from Article 35-A case in the Supreme Court, as during the hearing on the case in the apex court on August 31, Mehta, who represents the state, crossed his brief.

“They have also demanded that till elected government is formed in the state, the proceedings in the apex court regarding Article 35-A should be deferred,” the statement said.

The statement also said that the prevailing situation in Kashmir was a reason for mainstream parties to seek deferment of the polls.

“CPI (M) had always been demanding to hold dialogue with voices of dissent in the state. But now the situation has reached to a stage, where even the suggestions of mainstream political parties are being ignored. There are voices emerging in Kashmir that when the Center is not ready to deal with mainstream leaders how can they talk to voices of dissent. By such tactics who is gaining?”

“However, despite this the Government went ahead and announced the poll schedule. This shows the arrogance of the Centre. Rather than being adamant on holding the polls in the current atmosphere it would have been better for the Government to assure the people of the state that it was serious in defending the Article 35A in the Supreme Court.”

The stand of CPI(M) has always been to empower gross-roots institutions, the statement added.

“The democratic institutions of public importance need to be strengthened. More important, the participation of people in the elections to strengthen these institutions is a must. On ground the situation is such that participation of people is doubtful. Government should have convened an all party meeting to discuss this issue, unfortunately that has not been done.”

Both the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party, the two biggest regional political outfits have decided to boycott the elections as they have asked the Government of India to clear its stand on the issue of Article 35-A.

Home Minister of India Rajnath Singh on Monday appealed political parties in Jammu and Kashmir to participate in the upcoming Panchayat and local body polls.


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