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Jammu and Kashmir: Congress To Boycott Local Elections Over Detention Of Leaders
In order to protest the continued detention of senior political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir, the Congress has decided to boycott the Block Development Council elections.
Jammu and Kashmir: Congress To Boycott Local Elections Over Detention Of Leaders (representational image)
New Delhi: In order to protest the continued detention of senior political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir, the Congress has decided to boycott the Block Development Council elections. The polls have been boycotted by the two key political parties of Jammu and Kashmir - the National Conference and Mehbooba Mufti's People's Democratic Party, whose leaders have been under detention for more than 70 days.
The centre announced that the elections, due on October 24, is aimed at normalising the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and starting the democratic process.
Ghulam Ahmad Mir, Congress: We've come to realise that these elections (Block Development Council elections) are being held to facilitate only one party - ruling party. Our leaders are under detention. We have no other option but to announce that we are boycotting the election. https://t.co/CRipmCudqb pic.twitter.com/SLhW5mbrlZ— ANI (@ANI) October 9, 2019
"The Congress believes in strengthening of democratic institutions and never shied away from any polls," state Congress president G A Mir was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India. "But today, we are compelled to take a decision to boycott BDC polls due to indifferent attitude of the state administration and continued detention of senior party leaders in the valley," Mr Mir added.
"We won't participate in the BDC election. How can political parties take part when leaders are under detention? The EC should have consulted political parties before announcing block development council election," GA Mir said on Wednesday.
Congress leader Mir said the party would have participated if the administration had released political leaders. "This election is being held to facilitate the victory of only one party. Our party leaders are not even being provided security," Mir said.
Around 400 political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir were placed under detention or house arrest as part of the statewide lockdown to prevent any backlash over the government's August 5 announcement of the move to end the state's special status and its bifurcation into two Union Territories.
The government said that the restrictions are being relaxed in a phased manner, depending on the ground situation.
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