BJP pointman meets Guv, party leaders; favours polls
Top RSS, BJP leaders to review JK situation today
JAMMU, Sept 11: BJP general secretary and party’s pointman on Jammu and Kashmir, Ram Madhav today reached Srinagar on a two-day visit of the State to assess situation for Municipal and Panchayat elections in the wake of boycott call given by two premier political parties of the State including National Conference and PDP. He met Governor Satya Pal Malik and had detailed discussions with him on the local elections.
BJP sources told the Excelsior that Madhav reached Srinagar this morning and met senior BJP leaders from the Valley to elicit their viewpoint on conduct of local elections in the State despite boycott call given by the NC and PDP. Click here to watch video
Madhav was with the Governor for about half an hour during which he reportedly discussed the scenario in Jammu and Kashmir especially the Valley during Panchayat and Municipal elections following boycott call given by the NC and PDP and the political parties and organizations, which could come forward to contest the polls to ensure good turnout.
“The holding of Municipal elections also on non-party basis at par with Panchayat polls was discussed,” sources said. It may be mentioned here that the State Government has already decided to hold Municipal elections on party basis and Panchayat polls on non-party basis. However, the Government was considering holding of Municipal polls too on non-party basis following boycott call of the two parties on the ground that workers of these two parties might also contest as Independent candidates.
Madhav discussed prevailing security situation in Jammu and Kashmir with the Governor.
Madhav had detailed discussions with party leaders of Kashmir valley in Srinagar for over an hour and obtained their feedback on political situation after the boycott call of National Conference and PDP.
“The BJP leaders and workers were enthusiastic about the elections and wanted the Centre and State Governments to go ahead with the local polls saying people wanted elected Municipalities and Panchayats to be in place so that democracy is restored in the State at grass-root level,” sources said.
Speaking to reporters in Srinagar, Madhav charged National Conference and PDP with trying to confine the power around their families and not allowing decentralization and devolution of powers to the gross-root level by trying to fail democratic process through their boycott calls.
“Article 35-A is just an excuse for the two major parties (the NC and PDP). In fact, they are trying to fail the democratic process. Only few days back, these two parties contested elections in Kargil (for the Hill Council),” he pointed out.
Asserting that the Government and the BJP want democracy to be restored at the gross-root level by giving powers right up to the village level to form their own plans of development, Madhav charged the two parties (NC and Congress) with trying to stick to “family rule and politics” and not allowing decentralization and devolution of powers to the people.
He declared that the BJP was fully prepared for elections as it wants democratic powers to be restored right up to the villages.
“I met senior leaders of the party here and discussed election preparations with them. There was unanimous decision of the party that we should participate in the elections. We are waiting for announcement of the schedule,” he said.
He described National Conference and PDP as “opportunistic parties” saying they were afraid of elections and were taking excuse of Article 35-A. He said the two major parties are trying to stop political power from reaching to the villages.
Replying to a question on security situation in Kashmir and militants’ threats to ensure boycott of elections, Madhav said the militants have always played with rights of the people and this (the boycott call) is not a new thing. The administration will take steps to ensure peaceful elections, he added.
On BJP’s stand on Article 35-A, the BJP general secretary said the matter was in the Court, which has announced that the issue will come up before it again only in January.
On whether the BJP was trying to form new Government in Jammu and Kashmir, Madhav said on their (the BJP’s) part, there was no process for formation of Government in the State. However, he said, if other parties try to form the Government, “we can’t stop them”.
A Raj Bhawan spokesman said Ram Madhav met Governor Satya Pal Malik today.
“Madhav discussed with the Governor several issues related to ensuring equitable development in the State and shared his party’s views on upcoming elections to Urban Local Bodies and Panchayats in the State,” he added.
Malik and Madhav discussed importance of the local elections for strengthening democratic institutions at grass root level and enabling people to directly associate with development of their towns and villages.
Meanwhile, Ram Madhav will visit Jammu tomorrow and attend annual ‘Sangh Vichar Parivar Coordination Committee’ meeting, which will be attended by top brass of RSS and BJP including Union Minister of State in PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh, BJP national general secretary (organisations), Ram Lal and RSS All India Secretary, Krishan Gopal. The meeting is held once in a year to discuss coordination between RSS and BJP and other issues faced by the State, party sources said.