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PDP too will boycott J&K local polls

Describing J&K’s special constitutional position “a matter of survival for its people and society”, Ms. Mufti said her party leaders felt that any attempt to impose any electoral exercise in the current atmosphere of fear and apprehension would seriously erode the credibility of the process.

The PDP’s decision comes as a major setback to the much awaited elections, which was also announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15 in the Independence Day speech.

The PDP move comes just five days after National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah announced that his party “will not participate in the elections unless and until the government clears its position on Article 35A in and outside the court.”

The Congress is also holding its meeting on Tuesday to take a call on the elections. BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav will arrive in J&K on Tuesday to take stock of the situation.

“Those parties opposing the polls are anti-people and anti-development. They are scared of losing ground. They don’t even want to decentralise powers and are also inimical to peace in J&K,” said BJP leader Priya Sethi.

The State Administrative Council (SAC), headed by Governor Satya Pal Malik, on August 31 decided that the elections to municipal bodies will be conducted in four phases between October 1 and 5. It set the schedule for the eight-phase panchayat elections between November 8 and December 4.

The previous elections for the grassroots bodies was held in 2011 after a gap of four decades with over 80% turnout and the fresh elections were scheduled to be held in 2015. However, it was deferred three times in the past one year due to the hostile ground situation.

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