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Govt using Panchayat polls as acid test: Shafiq Mir

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Feb 15:  Expressing deep concern over the security situation in the State, Shafiq Mir chairman All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC) has said that the State Government was using Panchayat elections as a  ” acid test” to gauge the public mood and anger against the Government.
“The eagerness of the Government to conduct Panchayat elections as early as possible is only meant to prepare the ground for Parliamentary elections which have been deferred twice by the State Government without citing any valid reason,”  Mir said adding that the State Government is pushing Panchayat members to face the brunt of the people.
After his three days’ tour of  Kashmir valley, Mir said that he conducted several meetings with the Panchayat leaders and found that whole of the exercise was started by the State Government without consulting the real stake holders who have  to contest these elections.
” Most of  Panchayat leaders have told that the Government was just pushing them towards the public anger and it  wants to prepare the ground for Parliamentary elections through Panchayats by involving them first in the process,” Mir said adding that All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference was in consultations with the stakeholders and final decision will only be taken once the Government issues notification in this regard.
Mir said if  the Government feels that the security situation of the State was so good and conducive for the elections, why they have been deferring Parliamentary elections again and again?
If the Government is so confident about the security situation of the State it should first go for Parliamentary elections and  not push the Panchayat members before public anger”.
He further said that one side the present BJP-PDP State Government of Jammu and Kashmir has badly weakened the Panchayati Raj Act and on other hand it  uses the same institution for its political benefits. The AJKPC will not allow the Government to do so and an appropriate decision will be taken at an appropriate time, Mir added.

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