Srinagar: State Congress Chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir along with senior party leaders addressing a press conference regarding elections,in Srinagar on Wednesday, Sept 19, 2018. Congress decided to contest upcoming elections while National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) decided to boycott the elections. PTI Photo by Umar Ganie
Srinagar, Sep 19: The state unit of Congress party has decided to contest the upcoming civic polls, which will begin from October 8 under four phases.
While addressing a press conference here at party headquarters, state Congress president, G A Mir said that the party has come to this conclusion after deliberating the issue with the party high command recently in New Delhi.
“The Congress doesn’t want to run away from the responsibilities in restoring democratic setup in the state. It is not just a one day exercise as the state will have to bear the consequences for the next five years. So Congress party will utilise its all energy to defeat the communal forces and fight with full might,” he said.
Mir, however, said that his party has set the conditions of providing security to the contesting candidates and creation of peaceful atmosphere before the Governor.
“Election Commission and Governor led administration issued the contradictory statements over the security issue. Considering the bitter experience of previously held Parliamentary polls we put up the conditions of providing security to the consisting candidates, the creation of peaceful atmosphere and ensuring free and fair election,” he said.
Mir added that the Congress previously apprised the Governor’s office of the security concerns, especially in the valley.
“We sent three delegations to the governor right from the time NN Vohra took over the reins of the state to convey our concerns but they are not being addressed yet,” he said
Mir said the Congress will weigh the situation ahead and commitment made by the Governor to ensure a free and fair election in the state.
“Our party won’t hesitate to take any other decision if the Governor led administration fails to fulfill all its commitments,” he said.
“On these conditions, Congress will attempt to keep away RSS, BJP from entering these democratic institutions. We won’t allow them to get succeeded in their plans, which are made far away in Nagpur,” he added.
The state Congress president said their decision to take part in the election will ensure the releasing and utilisation of funds for the development of towns and cities.
“The delay in these elections has resulted in lapse of funds from Centre, which are meant for the development of towns and municipal committees. So we want to be at the front for the development of the state,” he said.
Mir sensed the boycott to Panchayat and Urban Local Bodies polls by regional political parties could be a ‘conspiracy to pave way for communal forces’.
“The essence of elections is determined when all parties participate in the exercise. Currently, half a dozen parties have boycotted the election, which I doubt could be a conspiracy to have a deal with the communal forces by allowing them to take the charge of institutions at grass root level,” he said.
“We don’t want to give them (RSS, BJP) any opportunity to stay in Secretariat and or either in offices at the district level,” he added.
The state Congress president stated that the party will work to safeguard Article 35-A if it comes to power. “There are certain sections of people in our state who have some concerns. If Congress is voted to power, we will build consensus to address the concerns as per legislation of the state. We will safeguard Article 35A,” he said.