Mainstream to Rajnath: Amid killings and CASOs, how can elections be held

Srinagar: Hitting back at Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh for appealing them to participate in the Municipal and Panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir, the three top regional mainstream political parties National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peoples Democratic Front (PDF) said β€œDelhi has not listened to our appeal and why should we listen to appeal of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh when a decision to hold Municipal and Panchayat elections has been taken without our consent and knowing our reservations about Article 35-A and vulnerable security scenario in the state.”
Talking to Kashmir News Service National Conference (NC) General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar said β€œWe demanded a clear cut clarification on Article 35-A which is our constitutional right but New Delhi turned a deaf ear to our demand and reservations about the security scenario in the State. The elections are being held when Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) and Operation All Out is continuing unabated. Question arises that amid killings how can elections be held in such a vulnerable security scenario amid brewing resentment among people on Central Governments objectionable stand over Article 35-A.”
Responding to Union Home Ministers appeal for participation in Panchayat and Municipal elections the chief Spokesman PDP Rafi Ahmad Mir told KNS β€œwe wanted a clarification of the Central Governments stand on Article 35-A and expressed our reservation on conduct of elections in the present hostile security environment. They should have listened patiently to our demands and we had also demanded an all party meet to evolve a consensus over the issues and the suitability of time and atmosphere for elections. They have not considered our suggestions and we have also taken a decision keeping in view the public outrage against the petitions filed in the Supreme Court against Article 35-A and the present hostile security scenario in the state.”
Reacting to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s appeal for participation in elections, PDF chairman and MLA Khan Sahib Hakim Mohammad Yaseen said β€œHome Minister is appealing us when the government has already announced poll schedule for Municipal and Panchayat elections without our consent. The decision to hold elections without listening to our demands on Article 35-A and present security scenario is murder of democracy and shows brute arrogance of the government. Saddened to hear champions of democracy beating drums of democracy without giving any due regard and respect to the largest political parties in the state. We have taken a decision and won’t listen to any appeal from any quarter on our boycott to Municipal and Panchayat elections.”



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