PDP to participate in polls, wants apprehensions over 35-A cleared

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, Sept 6: The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) today said that the party will participate in the forthcoming Panchayat and Municipal elections but want apprehensions over the Article 35A of the Constitution cleared.
The PDP spokesman, Rafi Ahmad Mir, said here that PDP is participating in these elections as it believes in democracy. “We are a political party. We believe in democracy. We have always took part in elections. We should not be seen running from elections. We are going to participate”, he said. Click here to watch video
Mir said that the Political Affairs Committee meeting of the PDP was held today in which the situation in the State was discussed. “The Panchayat and Municipal elections which were announced by the Government were also discussed”, he said.
The PDP spokesman that the plea taken by the State and Central Governments in the Supreme Court has led to apprehensions about Article 35A. “The plea taken by the State and Central Governments that the hearing on the Article 35A should be deferred due to Panchayat and Municipal elections has led to apprehensions here that Government of India may tinker with the Article 35A of the Constitution”, he said.
The PDP spokesman said that they want discussions on the issues before taking call on taking part in the elections. “So unless these apprehensions are not cleared and all party meeting is not held and it is not discussed how these elections are being held and what is the security plan for them. “Unless these issues are not discussed, we have decided to cancel our programme”, he said.
“We will hold consultations with people. Our party is pro-people party and once these apprehensions are cleared, we will take a final call on these elections”, he said.
“We want that the concerns on 35-A and other issues be addressed by the Governor then we can take a call on these elections. We want to hold consultations within our own party. We have taken part in the elections in the past and we are not running away from elections. But we don’t want any deterioration of the situation. We don’t want to risk the lives of our party workers. We don’t want bloodshed in Kashmir”, Mir said.
On Wednesday, the National Conference (NC) cited Article 35-A as the reason for boycotting the polls. The NC said that they will not participate in the Municipal and Panchayat elections unless and until the Government of India and the State Government clarify their positions on Article 35-A and take effective steps for its protection in and outside the courts.