Jammu, Sep 10: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday said the parties opposing the upcoming panchayat and local body polls in the state are “anti-people and anti-development”.
BJP’s spokesperson and former minister Priya Sethi said this in a statement after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) announced a boycott of these elections.
“The state will lose crores of grants if these elections are not held as soon as possible. Parties such as the National Conference and the PDP who are opposing elections to local bodies and panchayats are scared of losing ground,” the statement read.
The PDP’s decision to boycott local body polls comes days after its arch-rival, the National Conference, announced not to contest these elections until the Centre and the governor administration clarify its position on Article 35A, which gives special rights to the people in the state and bars outsiders from owning immovable property.
The Supreme Court had on 31 August deferred the hearing on a bunch of petitions challenging Article 35A of the Constitution, as the Centre had urged the court to take up the matter after panchayat elections in the state.
Sethi alleged that both the parties do not want to decentralise the power and are “inimical to peace”.
“Instead of opposing, the NC and PDP should support the local body elections so that people reap the benefit of development and grants,” the BJP leader said.
She said that panchayat elections in itself are a challenge to “anti-India, pro-Pakistani and fundamentalist elements and those who want to oppose it”.