‘NC never in favour of establishing democracy at gross root level’

‘NC never in favour of establishing democracy at gross root level’
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Ishtyaq Ahmad

Srinagar, Sep 5: As the main opposition party National Conference announced that it will not participate in the Panchayat elections unless the conflict regarding Article 35 A is resolved, Bhartiya Janta party Wednesday said that the National conference was never in favour of holding Panchayat, Urban elections in the state to establish democracy at the grass root level.
The party also said that if National Conference Chairman Farooq Abdullah really means that they are not participating in these elections then he should also announce that his party will not participate in upcoming parliament, Assembly elections.
“Those who have faith in democratic process should participate in these elections. NC during their previous government with the congress had failed to conduct these elections .Actually they do not want to establish democracy at the gross root level,” BJP National Vice President and Kashmir affairs incharge Avinash Rai Khana said over phone from New Delhi.
He said that municipality elections form the very basic structure of democracy at the ground level. Elections to urban local bodies will boost the democratic fabric in the state by providing administration at the door step of common individual. “But let me tell you that these so called leaders are never well wishers of the common people,” Khana maintained.
He said that political parties should always support any process that strengthens the democratic process at the grassroots level. “If NC chairman really means that they are not going to participate in these elections, then let he also announce that his party will not participate in the upcoming parliament, assembly elections,” he said.
The BJP top leader further said that as far as BJP cadre is concerned, they are always ready to help people and pave the way towards development and normalcy. “We are fully prepared for elections. Be they municipal elections, panchayat elections, parliament elections, or for that matter, state assembly elections,” he said.
Khana said that the BJP has already started its campaign. “We have already started the campaigning. We will contest in all urban local body polls across the state. We are fully prepared and the basic structure for setting up an organisation is in place,” he said.
He added that the recent killing of a BJP worker has only “made the party stronger” in its resolve to contest the elections. On 22 August, militants barged into the house of BJP worker Shabir Ahmed Bhat, in Pulwama, and killed him.
J&K has 78 urban local bodies, which includes two municipal corporations in Jammu and Srinagar.
Earlier, when the BJP-PDP government was in power, former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had announced that panchayat polls would be held in February and polls to the ULBs urban local bodies would follow. The panchayat polls, last held in 2011, could not be conducted due to security concerns and the imminent tourist season.
Based on the State government’s request, the Centre had mobilised around 40,000 Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and put them on standby.
It is to mention here that National Conference Wednesday said that it will not participate in the Panchayat and ULB elections unless and until the GOI clears its position with regard to Art 35-A.
Addressing a press conference in Srinagar, NC President Farooq Abdullah said the party won’t contest the panchayat and municipal polls slated later this year as the situation was not conducive for the polls. He said the decision was taken in the party’s core group meeting today. (KNS)