National

BJP will be the lone player in J&K local body polls

Our Bureau/PTI New Delhi/Jammu | Updated on October 09, 2019 Published on October 09, 2019

A security personnel stands guard during restrictions, in Srinagar, on Wednesday   -  PTI

The Congress joins PDP, NC and others in boycotting the elections due October 24

The Congress, on Wednesday, joined the other parties in boycotting the Jammu and Kashmir Block Development Council (BDC) elections due October 24, leaving the ruling BJP as the only participant in the poll process.

The J&K unit chief of the Congress, Ghulam Ahmad Mir, announced his party’s decision citing continued detention of the party leaders in Kashmir and the Centre’s “total indifference”.

With this announcement, the Congress joined the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the National Conference and the CPI(M) — who have dubbed the BDC polls “farce” as almost all mainstream political leaders in the Valley, including former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, have either been detained or placed under house arrest since the government announced abrogation of Article 370 over two months ago. The State administration had, last week, said the political leaders, who were under house arrest in the Valley, would be released in a phased manner after properly analysing every individual.

Ghulam Ahmad Mir, who announced the Congress’s decision to stay away from the BDC polls, was released from house arrest in Jammu a few days ago.

Shehla exits

Meanwhile, young student leader and former JNU Students Union President Shehla Rashid declared that she was withdrawing from electoral politics altogether. In a tweet, Rashid said she refuses to be a party to an exercise aimed at “legitimising the brutal suppression of my people”.

Rashid said that the government keeps inviting the young people in Kashmir to join the mainstream while continuing to deny them their basic rights.

“I cannot be a party to the exercise of legitimising the brutal suppression of my people. I would, therefore, like to make clear my dissociation with the electoral mainstream in Kashmir… I will continue to be an activist and raise my voice against injustice on all fronts that do not require a compromise and I’ll continue to put my energies behind the Supreme Court petition seeking the restoration of special status of the State, and the reversal of the bifurcation of the State,” she said in the statement.

Ghulam Ahmad Mir said the Congress has never shied away from an electoral process but the BJP has created an extraordinary situation, where curbs have been placed on the free movement of all prominent political leaders and parties, and the Congress has been specifically targeted.

“Today, we are compelled to take a decision to boycott the BDC polls due to the indifferent attitude of the State administration and the continued detention of senior party leaders in the Valley,” Mir said.

“The Congress was deliberately targeted in this exercise,” the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief added.

Published on October 09, 2019
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