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Panchayat Polls: J&K Cong questions by-elections amid detention of political leaders

Panchayat Polls: J&K Cong questions by-elections amid detention of political leaders

Jammu, Feb 18 (UNI) Jammu and Kashmir Congress on Tuesday questioned the by-elections to the vacant seats of Panchayats on party basis, even when the PCC chief G A Mir was not allowed to visit Kashmir, after issuance of poll notification and detention of mainstream leaders continues in the Valley.

Expressing reservations over the announcement of by-elections to the Panchayats on party basis amidst continuous detention and all sorts of restrictions on the main stream political leaders in the Kashmir Valley, the J&K Congress asked the Election Authority (Chief Electoral Officer J&K) to provide level playing field to the opposition.

“We have put forward the view point of the party on the issue and would wait for the response of the Election Authority before announcing the final view of the party with regard to ongoing by-elections to the Panchayats,” Ravinder Sharma, chief spokesperson of Congress party, accompanied by vice-president PCC and former MLC Ghulam Nabi Monga, here told media after coming out of all party meeting convened by the Chief Electoral Officer.

Mr Sharma said that the Congress party raised the issue that this meeting should have been convened before the announcement of poll, to take the views and difficulties being faced by the opposition parties.

The party raised the another fundamental issue that when general elections to panchayats were held on non-party basis and the by-elections to the vacant seats are being held on party basis, when the main opposition leaders either facing detention or various kinds of restrictions on any kind of political activity.

Party cited PCC president G A Mir who was not allowed to go to Srinagar even on Monday after the issuance of poll notifications, which is insult to the Institution (Election Commission).

The party leaders complained about all sorts of restrictions and withdrawal of security to the opposition leaders due to which they are not in a position to reach out to their cadres and people at grass root level in the Kashmir Valley, where the vacancies constitute 95 per cent of the total seats to be filled.

He said that party participated in the elections to Panchayats and ULV in December 2018 despite strong reservations and apprehensions about the conductiveness of overall scenario at that time which come out to be correct as more than 60 per cent seats of the valley remained unfilled.

Retreating the stand of the party in the meeting, with regard to ongoing elections, they said, “we shall wait for response of the Election Authority (CEO) over the suggestions put forth in the meeting before announcing the final decision failing which, we shall appeal to the people and leave it to their wisdom to elect right candidates in these elections”.

UNI VBH PS 1739

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