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Hopeful that Guv will call all-party meet: Mehbooba

mehbooba


Srinagar, Sep 5: The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Wednesday said it was hopeful that new J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik will convene an all-party meeting on holding urban local body and panchayat elections in the state.

“(When I was) in government, I had called an all-party meeting to discuss ULB/Panchayat elections and majority of the parties had opposed holding of elections at that time. We expected that the governor too would have called an All Party meet where everyone would put forward their view point,” PDP president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti was quoted as saying on party’s official twitter handle.

 

The tweets came a little over an hour after the National Conference announced that it would not participate in these elections in view of the prevailing situation in the valley caused by the legal challenge to Article 35-A of the Constitution.

“The core group (of NC) unanimously decided that the National Conference will not participate in these elections unless and until the government of India and the state government clarify their positions in this regard and take effective steps for protection of Article 35-A in and outside the courts,” NC president Farooq Abdullah said after the meeting here.

However, in a second tweet, Mehbooba Mufti said, “We are still hopeful about that meet and would share our opinion with all the parties so that a consensus is built.”

 

Farooq’s statement attempt to ‘blackmail’ GoI: AJKPC

Jammu, Sep 5: All Jammu Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC) on Wednesday took a strong exception to the highly-objectionable statement of National Conference president and former chief minister Farooq Abdullah and asked him not to “politicize Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) for petty vote bank politics”.

In a statement issued here, Anil Sharma, AJKPC state president said the NC president’s statement was an attempt “to blackmail the Government of India and pressurize the Apex Court” in the garb of Panchayat and local bodies elections.

“The statement has been made to blackmail the Government of India and pressurize the Supreme Court in the garb of Panchayats and local bodies’ elections. The NC president should not forget that the Panchayats are non-political institutions and he should refrain from politicizing these institutions for his petty vote bank politics,” Sharma said.

He said the NC president “should not use Panchayats to influence the court of law over Article 35-A”.

“Let the Court decide on the issue,” Sharma said.

“The elections to Panchayats and local bodies should not be delayed at any cost. The NC president must understand that all problems, at grassroots level in J&K, are related to non-existence of institutions of local governance. The people are feeling alienated because of non-existence of Panchayats. The conduct of Panchayat elections will restore their faith in governance,” he said.

Moreover, the central grants worth Rs 1,000 crore including 700 crore for Panchayats and Rs 300 crore for urban local bodies, have been blocked due to non-availability of these institutions in the state, he said, adding: “These elections will ensure the release of these funds which will be used for developmental activities at grassroots level.”