Press Trust of india

NC, PDP looking for excuses to not participate in panchayat, ULB polls: Jitendra Singh

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Jammu, Sept 13:  Union minister Jitendra Singh on Thursday alleged that the opposition parties in Jammu and Kashmir are looking for excuses to not participate in the upcoming panchayat and urban local body (ULB) elections in the state.

He was speaking at the foundation stone laying ceremony of a seed processing plant here. One of the three national-level projects in Kathua, the plant will benefit farmers in the district and the neighbouring states of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh when its operations start in April-May next year.

“Opposition parties are looking for excuses to escape from the proposed local body elections in the state,” Singh said.

His comments come days after the National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) announced their decisions to boycott the polls.

The NC wants the Centre to clarify its position on Article 35-A of the Constitution, which is facing legal challenge in the Supreme Court, while the PDP said that the prevailing situation in the state is not favourable for polls.

Singh said these parties, particularly the NC and the Congress, want “autonomy” for their families but not for the Panchayats.

He said the decision by the Kashmir-based leadership of the NC and the PDP had left the workers of these parties in Jammu frustrated as they had nurtured the dreams of becoming corporators and councillors for years now.

The minister appealed to Jammu workers of the two parties to join the BJP without losing any time and support the ULB elections.

The BJP shall find a suitable role for them, he said.

Singh also accused the NC and the PDP of indulging in opportunistic politics.

He alleged that NC president Farooq Abdullah did not find anything wrong in contesting the Lok Sabha by-elections as he could secure the perks a member of parliament is entitled to.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti did not find anything wrong in getting her brother a backdoor entry into the legislative council, he said.

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