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Civic Polls: NC, PDP fielding proxies, threatening BJP candidates, says Ram Madhav

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Sep 28:  The BJP on Friday accused the National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party of asking its candidates not to file nomination for the upcoming civic polls.

The BJP National General Secretary, Ram Madhav, claimed that PDP and NC were making efforts to derail the democratic process by poll-boycott.

“The PDP and NC bowed before the separatists and announced poll-boycott of upcoming urban local bodies and panchayat elections,” Madhav told the reporters.

 

“They PDP and NC do not want elections to be held in the state. They are making all efforts to derail the election process. Even their workers are threatening our candidates not to file the nominations for the municipal polls like the militants do.”

The NC and PDP have announced to boycott the panchayat and ULB polls in the state unless the Centre clarifies its position on Article 35A of the Constitution, which is facing legal challenge in the Supreme Court. However, the NC leader Omar Abdullah has said that his party will not launch any “poll boycott campaign neither we are on the same page with separatists”.

Madhav claimed that both the parties were fielding proxies in forthcoming municipal polls.

“The NC, PDP leaders and workers are filing nominations as independent candidates. We welcome their proxies too. People should contest whether on party basis or independently and we want participation of more and more people,” he said.

Earlier, both the parties have claimed that they will not field any proxy candidate in the upcoming panchayat and municipal elections in the state.

“It has exposed the duplicity of the NC and PDP as they did not boycott the Kargil polls but boycott civic elections on Article 35 A issue. The BJP stand is very clear that Supreme Court will take an appropriate view on this issue,” Madhav said.

The BJP National General Secretary said that BJP would field candidates from all municipalities of Kashmir. “There are militant threats still people are coming forward and filing nomination papers. They are not succumbing to their threats,” he said.

The militants have issued threats against civic polls while Hurriyat has called for poll-boycott.

The government has announced holding of 4-phase urban local bodies and 9-phase panchayat elections in the state. The ULB polls would be held on October 8, 10, 13 and 16 while Panchayat polls would be held on November 17, 20, 24, 27, 29 and December 1, 04, 08 and 11.

Madhav said that municipal and panchayat polls were to strengthen the grassroots level.

“You have to make the win of BJP candidates possible. They (PDP and NC) will sink and be aware of them. People will defeat their designs and teach them a lesson,” he appealed to people.

He said that BJP could not convince former alliance partner PDP to hold the polls. “We made efforts but could not succeed.”

He said that Centre will release the funds for civic bodies once the polls end in the state.


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Metropolitan Project: Over 94 lakh kanals identified in JK

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Jul 18: Over 94 lakh kanals of land has been identified across Jammu and Kashmir for developing the state under the ambitious Metropolitan Region Development Authorities (MRDA) project.

Under the project, two Metropolitan Region Development Authorities will reduce the deficit on infrastructure – water supply, roads, sewage, drainage, light rails, e-buses and other amenities.

“The authorities will also develop satellite townships in Greater Jammu and Greater Srinagar. Million square feet IT parks will also be developed in these townships,” the document reads.

 

Governor Satya Pal Malik-led administration recently announced creation of Jammu Metropolitan Region Development Authority and Srinagar Metropolitan Region Development Authority — to provide an integrative framework for the purpose of planned development of these regions.

As per the details, the government has identified 94,22,465 kanals of land in 2559 villages of 14 districts in the state.

In Kashmir, 1452 villages comprising of 4989304 kanals of land would be covered under MRDA.

In Srinagar district, 124 villages comprising 514116 kanals of land would be covered. In Pulwama, 922715 kanals of land in 240 villages have been identified for implementation of project under MRDA.

Similarly, 331799, 1049195, 451400, 142461 kanals of land would be covered in Kulgam, Baramulla, Shopian, and Bandipora districts respectively.

Around 44,33,161 kanals of land would be covered in Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Reasi, Udhampur under MRDA.

The MRDAs, as per the document, have been selected on the principles of regional planning and development.

An official of Housing and Urban Development Department said a process has begun for acquisition of land for the project.

“All types of land are being covered under MRDAs. Besides government land, we have also identified private land which ought to be acquired. But some land owners are not willing to provide land saying that government is not paying them commensurate to market value,” the official said.

He said the land owners want promulgation of an ordinance to replace old law “which will enable them fair compensation during acquisition”.

Principal Secretary, Housing and Urban Development Department, Dheeraj Gupta said that all types of land were being covered under MRDAs. “We will acquire private land wherever needed,” Gupta added.

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India to Pak: Release, repatriate Jadhav immediately

Agencies

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New Delhi, Jul 18: Describing the detention of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan as “illegal” and under “fabricated” charges, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar Thursday urged Islamabad to release and repatriate him immediately.

Making a statement in Rajya Sabha, he said the verdict of the International Court of Justice is not only a vindication for Jadhav but also for all those who believe in the rule of law.

The International Court of Justice on Wednesday ruled that Pakistan must review the death sentence for Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism”.

 

Jadhav, 49, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by the Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” after a closed trial in April 2017.

A bench led by President of the Court Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf ordered an “effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence of Mr Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav”.

The bench also ruled by 15 votes to 1 that Pakistan had violated India’s rights to consular visits after Jadhav’s arrest.

Pakistan “deprived the Republic of India of the right to communicate with and have access to Mr Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, to visit him in detention and to arrange for his legal representation”, the judges had said.

Pakistan was under the obligation to inform India about the arrest and detention of Jadhav under the Vienna Convention, Judge Yusuf had ruled.

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Jadhav guilty of crimes against people: Imran

Agencies

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Islamabad, Jul 18: Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan Thursday said that he appreciated the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) decision to “not to acquit, release & return” Kulbhushan Jadhav, day after the world court in The Hague directed Pakistan to review the death penalty given to the former Indian Navy commander.

Holding Jadhav responsible for “crime against” Pakistani people, Khan said Pakistan will proceed per law.

“Appreciate ICJ’s decision not to acquit, release & return Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav to India. He is guilty of crimes against the people of Pakistan. Pakistan shall proceed further as per law,” Imran tweeted.

 

On Wednesday, the ICJ ordered Pakistan to make an “effective review and reconsideration” of the conviction and death sentence of Jadhav.

The world court also rejected all objections raised by Pakistan, granting consular access to Jadhav “without further delay”, in a verdict that was hailed in India as a “big victory” for the country. It agreed with India’s stand that Pakistan had violated the Vienna Convention by denying access.

In a reprieve for Jadhav, 49, a retired Indian Navy officer sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” after a closed trial in April 2017, a 16-member bench by a 15:1 vote continued the stay on the execution.

A Chinese judge was part of the majority verdict while the ad hoc judge from Pakistan on the bench headed by President of the Court Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf of Somalia gave a dissenting opinion.

Rejecting Pakistan’s objection to admissibility of the Indian application in the case, the court in its 42-page order held that “a continued stay of execution constitutes an indispensable condition for the effective review” of the sentence of Jadhav that had strained relations between the two neighbouring countries.

The bench, however, rejected some remedies sought by India, including annulment of the military court’s decision convicting Jadhav, his release and safe passage to India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed the verdict, saying “truth and justice” have prevailed while Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj described it as a “big victory” for India.

Despite the order backing India, Pakistan claimed victory. The country’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi tweeted: “Jadhav shall remain in Pakistan. He shall be treated in accordance with the laws of Pakistan.” Jadhav was arrested in Balochistan on 3 March, 2016, by Pakistani security agencies and was convicted of being a spy. In April 2017, Pakistan had announced that Jadhav was given death sentence by a military court.

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