J&K Local Body Polls: After National Conference, PDP Pull-Out Shadow On Polls

J&K Local Body Polls: After National Conference, PDP Pull-Out Shadow On Polls

 J&K Local Body Polls: After National Conference, PDP Pull-Out Shadow On Polls(file image)

New Delhi: People's Democratic Party of Jammu and Kashmir has indicated that it has reservations about local bodies' poll in the state, a day after its bitter political rival National Conference said it would boycott the elections. The PDP, which earlier ruled the state along with the BJP, said the centre's decision to seek deferment of Supreme Court hearing on Article 35A till after the panchayat elections, smacks of conspiracy.
Former chief Minister of J&K Mehbooba Mufti, spoke to NDTV and said that people are expecting mischief after the centre sought that the hearing on Article 35A in the Supreme Court be deferred."It is difficult to ignore the public sentiment. There is apprehension that Article 35A may be fiddled with once these elections are over," said Ms Mufti.

Mehbooba Mufti,  who led-the PDP-BJP government in the state till the Bhartiya Janata Party decided to pull off support in June, said the decision of National Conference to boycott elections has made these polls meaningless. "National Conference is the main regional party. What is the credibility of these elections when there is no contest?" she said.

Political parties have united in Kashmir, in order to fight to preserve Article 35A. The parties say that Article 35A which has been challenged in the Supreme Court, is the foundation on the basis of which special status has been promised to Kashmir in the constitution.

Jammu and Kashmir's special rights and privileges have been one of the subjects creating rift between the BJP and PDP. The Bhartiya Janata Party claimed to be against some of these rights, which disturbed a section of PDP supporters.

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According to Article 35A, allows permanent residents of the state and excludes outsiders from owning property and getting benefits including government jobs.

The Bhartiya Janata Party has also maintained that repealing Article 370. The Article 370, which is an extension of Article 35A, allows the state its own constitution, flag and the right to handle its own laws except on matters that impact national security - is part of its core philosophy.

Farooq Abdullah, the National Conference patriarch said that his party will not contest in the elections until the central and the state governments "Clear their position and takes effective steps for the protection of Article 35A in and outside the courts".

The former CM said that she expects Governor Satyapal Malik to call an all-party meeting, after which the PDP would take a call. "Article 35A is an emotive issue and we will make our final decision after deliberations with people," the former Chief Minister added.

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