As the DDC elections in J&K nears, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti has once again accused the Centre of "sabotaging" the participation of political parties other than the BJP in the polls by not allowing them to campaign freely. On Saturday, she said that PDPs Bashir Ahmed was detained in name of security.
Peoples Conference president Sajad Lone echoed Mufti's opinion and said that security is being used as a pretext to impede electioneering. In an indirect attack on J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, Lone said that those who are visitors in the state should not not sow a poison "whose venom will be spread over decades."
GOI sabotaging participation of non BJP parties in DDC polls. PDPs Bashir Ahmed despite having adequate security has been detained at Pahalgam on the pretext of security. Today is the last day for filing nominations & have spoken to— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) November 21, 2020
DC Anantnag for his release @manojsinha_
security is being used as a pretext to impede electioneering. Pre-determing democracy, undermining democracy can have disastrous consequences. We, our children r here to stay. Visitors deputed as administrators better not sow a poison whose venom will be spread over decades.— Sajad Lone (@sajadlone) November 21, 2020
Earlier on Wednesday, Abdullah and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti accused the J&K administration of favouring BJP and J&K Apni Party in the run-up to the DDC polls. According to Mufti, non-BJP candidates for the District Development Council elections are not being permitted to campaign freely, and Abdullah alleged that the J&K administration was using the security situation as a pretext to lock up candidates opposed to BJP.
Requisite amendments in the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989, and J&K Panchayati Raj Rules, 1996, have enabled the setting up of District Development Councils, the members of which shall be directly elected by voters in the Union Territory. The DDC which will have a term of 5 years replaces the District Planning and Development Boards which were headed by a Cabinet Minister of the erstwhile state of J&K. Addressing a press briefing, State Election Commissioner KK Sharma stated that the polls for the vacant seats of sarpanches, panches and Urban Local Bodies will be held simultaneously with the DDC polls. The DDC elections will be conducted in 8 phases between November 28 and December 19, with the counting of votes scheduled for December 22.