Now, the Congress party has decided to boycott the Block Development Council polls in Jammu and Kashmir, over the detention of mainstream political leaders after the abrogation of Article 370. Congress became the fourth party, after CPI(M), National Conference and PDP to boycott the Block Development Council polls to be held on October 24 in the state.
Jammu and Kashmir chief, GA Mir announced the party's decision to refrain from the local body polls, considering the detention of three former chief ministers of the state- NC leader Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti of the PDP and others, for over 60 days.
He said, "We won't participate in the BDC election. How can political parties take part when leaders are under detention? The EC should have consulted political parties before announcing the block development council election." "This election is being held to facilitate the victory of only one party. Our party leaders are not even being provided security," he added.
The Block Development Council (BDC) polls will be held in Jammu and Kashmir on October 24 will be the first election since the revocation of Article 370 on August 5, that withdrew the special status of the state. The local body elections in Jammu and Kashmir begin Monday but threats, violence, and boycott by the state's two main parties – the NC and the PDP – have cast a shadow over the polls, making it seem the most low-profile electoral exercise in the history of the state. The two regional parties have asked the Centre to make its stand clear in the apex court on the constitutional provision and urged it to defend the article's continuation.
The boycott by two mainstream political parties and the calls of a boycott by the separatists along with the threats and recent violence have led to absolutely minimal campaigning for the four-phased local bodies' polls. Many contestants have withdrawn from the process because of the threat to their lives, as per reports.
In the first phase of the Block Development Council, on Monday, elections are to be held in 422 wards in 30 municipal bodies spanning 12 districts of the state. "For this phase, 1,473 nominations were filed, and after scrutiny 1,441 nominations were declared valid. Subsequently, there were some withdrawals and 1,283 contestants are now in the fray for polls in the first phase,” state's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shaleen Kabra said.
(With PTI inputs)