CPI(M) to boycott panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir

Srinagar, Publish Date: Sep 17 2018

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Monday said it will boycott the upcoming panchayat and local bodies polls in Jammu and Kashmir.

Slamming the Centre for going ahead with the elections despite opposition from mainstream parties in the state, the CPI(M) said it showed the “arrogance” of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Union government.

The decision of the government to go ahead with panchayat and urban local bodies elections despite majority of mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir deciding not to participate… shows the arrogance of the BJP-led Central government, state secretary, CPI(M), Ghulam Nabi Malik, said in a statement here.

The CPI(M) is the third political party after National Conference (NC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to stay away from the polls scheduled to be held from next month.

The government should have convened an all party meeting to discuss this issue, unfortunately that has not been done. Keeping the prevailing situation in consideration, the CPI(M) has decided not to participate in these polls, the state secretary said.

Malik said the political parties of the state had raised some issues, including the linking of the polls to the plea in the Supreme Court on Article 35A by both the Central and state governments.

It was wrong on behalf of the government to use polls as a reason to seek deferment of Article 35A in the SC. The mainstream political parties had also urged the Centre to clear its stand over Article 35A before announcing ULB and Panchayat elections,” he said.

The political parties in the state were also demanding the shifting of additional solicitor general of India Tushar Mehta from Article 35A 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,” he added.

“They have also demanded that till (an) elected government is formed in the state, the proceedings in the apex court regarding Article 35A should be deferred, Malik said further.

The CPI(M) state secretary said the prevailing situation in Kashmir was another reason behind parties seeking 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,” he said.

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, he added.

Stressing that the CPI(M) stands for the empowerment of institutions for which, participation of people in the election process was a must, Malik said, on the ground, the situation is such that participation of people is doubtful”.( PTI )