In a region mired in conflict, it takes all the more courage, and perseverance to be the voice of the voiceless and to separate facts from propaganda. Help The Kashmir Monitor sustain so that we continue to be editorially independent. Remember, your contributions, however small they may be, matter to us.

PDP’s all-party meet: ‘Situation not conducive for local polls’

Srinagar, Sep 6: After the announcement of the boycott of the proposed municipal and panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir, the People Democratic Party called for an all-party meeting where they decided that the situation is not right to go for the panchayat polls.
The decision came on Thursday.
A meeting was held in Jammu and Kashmir’s district Poonch which was attended by PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) party workers and party president Mehbooba Mufti. The meeting went on for three hours.
“In present situation, it is not right for elections, and as long as government does not clear position on 35A and security issues, PDP will not take part in the process. Final call will be taken after government clarifies on the party’s fears,” said Rafi Mir, PDP spokesman.
On Wednesday, Jammu and Kashmir’s oldest political party, the National Conference, decided to boycott the elections to panchayat and urban local bodies in the state unless the Centre clarifies its position on Article 35-A of the Constitution, which is facing legal challenge in the Supreme Court.
Minutes after NC president and former chief minister Farooq Abdullah made the announcement, the party’s arch rival PDP expressed hope that newly appointed governor Satya Pal Malik would convene an all-party meeting to discuss the matter and called for a meeting.
The National Conference, which held its core group meeting in Srinagar, decided to stay out of the panchayat and urban local body elections, saying the decision to hold the polls had been taken in a “hurried” manner without taking into considerations the prevailing situation “created by the powers that be, by unnecessarily fiddling with Article 35-A”.
The validity of Article 35A of the Constitution, which accords a slew of rights and privileges to the “permanent residents” of the state, has been challenged in the Supreme Court.