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These polls won’t have legitimacy: Mehbooba

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Srinagar, Sep 19: People’s Democratic Party president and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said that “Centre’s decision to go ahead with the civic polls would not serve any purpose when the mainstream parties have decided to boycott them”.

“When two main political players have opted out, what kind of competition is there going to be?” she asked. “We are the mainstream parties and do not belong to the other side [separatists]…It will not be a good election. It will not have the legitimacy that it should have. Only selective people are going to contest because of the fear psychosis. That may defeat the purpose,” she said.

 

In an interview to the Hindustan Times, Mufti said her party decided to boycott the local-body elections as the situation in the state was not conducive for the polls. She said there was fear and suspicion in the atmosphere since the Centre has linked the elections to proceedings on Article 35A in the Supreme Court.

Besides the People’s Democratic Party, the National Conference and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) have decided not to contest the elections.

Mehbooba also said that Article 35A is beyond compromise and off-limits for the Centre. “There are certain issues where you can’t compromise. Article 35A is one such issue,” she told the newspaper. “Our message to the Centre is loud and clear: Keep your hands off. This is off-limits; don’t play with this.”

She added that the gap between mainstream politicians from the state and the Centre has widened due to the government’s stand on Article 35A.

The panchayat elections will be held in nine phases between November 17 and December 11 while elections to municipal bodies will be held in four phases between October 8 and October 16. Jammu and Kashmir has been under Governor’s Rule since June, when the BJP pulled out of the PDP-led government.

 

Insurance bait used to lure candidates: Mirwaiz

Srinagar, Sep 19: Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Wednesday said that the rulers were using ‘insurance as a bait to entrap people to contest the upcoming civic polls in the state.’

Taking to social networking site twitter Mirwaiz wrote: “How bizzare can it get.. As no one ready, rulers using insurance bait to entrap people and become “Bali Kay Bakray” at the alter of so called elections! And then calling it “infusion of confidence “!”

Earlier two main regional political parties National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party, have decided to boycott the elections as they have asked the Government of India to clear its stand on the issue of Article 35-A.

He also condemned the restrictions imposed in various areas of Srinagar to prevent Muharram processions said the city is being held ‘hostage by rulers.’

Taking to social networking site Twitter, Mirwaiz wrote, “Srinagar held hostage by rulers to disallow Muharram procession! Curbs and restrictions on peoples movement everywhere. Roads and alleys leading to hospitals especially SMHS also blocked ..sick being made to suffer! Harassment of people keeps getting worse by the day.”