Congress to contest Panchayat, Municipal elections: Mir

Pradesh Congress president, G A Mir addressing a press conference in Srinagar. —Excelsior/Shakeel
Pradesh Congress president, G A Mir addressing a press conference in Srinagar. —Excelsior/Shakeel

JKPCC president targets NC, PDP for poll boycott

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Sept 19: Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) today announced that it will participate in the upcoming Panchayat and Municipal elections in the State, saying that the decision was taken to keep the communal forces away.
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Mir while addressing a press conference here at party headquarters in Srinagar said that the party has decided not to stay away from the upcoming elections to keep the ground open for the ‘communal forces’ but “we will fight with the full might.”
The Congress president said his party, being a responsible secular force, will certainly not give safe passage to BJP neither in these elections nor in future. “Remaining away from the upcoming elections will ensure victory of communal forces, which will be a big blunder. In case we do not counter BJP and RSS, we would have also been perceived as dual and opportunistic”, he said.
“Keeping this in mind, Congress party has decided to participate in these elections,” Mir said, adding that the party wants that the elections must be free and fair, if at some point of time, the party feels that elections are not being conducted in a fair manner, then the party after assessing the situation will have no hesitation to take a call.
The Congress president said that the current political and security situation in the Valley is the outcome of the “pro BJP policies” of the PDP. “Fighting Kargil elections, simultaneously boycotting ULB elections is something which would find no takers in the State, simply it makes no sense, it is just a political gimmick to regain the lost ground on the part of PDP”, he said.
“The party believes that under the grim situation prevailing in the Valley all mainstream political and other secular forces must unite to defeat the designs of BJP and RSS. We also believe that election boycott by few regional parties was a deliberate and considered effort to provide space to BJP and RSS in these elections, otherwise there was no reason for these parties to boycott the elections after contesting Kargil Hill Development Council elections, very recently,” Mir said.
“We also believe these elections (ULB/Panchayat) are directly linked with the development of people at grass roots level and it has nothing to do with the State legislation. So, we appeal to people to get united against communal and fascist forces which are hell bent upon to capture power in the State by hook or by crook,” the Congress president said.
Mir said that defeating BJP-RSS amounts to safeguarding the special status of the State, besides strengthening the secular forces in the country. “We need to deter the BJP-RSS from taking mileage out of so called boycott by regional forces,” he added.
“We have apprised the Governor about the security concerns of the candidates and emphasized that requisite security cover be ensured to them. Today we again reiterate our demand to the Governor to ensure security to everyone in the fray,” he said.
“For the conduct of these elections, we have raised concerns about security arrangements because we have worst experience of last year’s by-polls that ended with less poll percentage. Till now neither Centre nor Election Commi-ssion has answered what had happened in the last elections. Election Commission said they were not ready for the elections and State and Centre compelled them. When State and Centre was asked about it they passed the blame on Election Commission”, Mir said.
“The party is committed to safeguard the special status of the State; there will be no compromise on it. Our stand is clear, we won’t allow anyone to fiddle with the Art 370, rather we (Congress) would take effective measures to further strengthen the special status of the State,” Mir said.
“So far we have sent three delegations to Governor and in all the meetings we have categorically made it clear that Congress is against any tinkering with the Article 35 A. There are several concerns regarding this among some sections of society and we will settle these things within the State if our party is voted to power. Instead of all this Congress party is wholeheartedly in support of safeguarding the Article 35 A”, the Congress president said.


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