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AJKPC targets NC, PDP over poll boycott move

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Jammu, Sep 11: The All Jammu Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC) staged protests here Tuesday against the NC and PDP’s decision to boycott the upcoming election to Panchayat and urban local bodies.

The AJKPC said that the National Conference (NC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) were dragging Panchayati Raj institutions into their “dirty politics of blackmail”.

“Both the parties have resorted to their age-old tactics of blackmailing the Government of India and the state government for their vested interests,” AJKPC president Anil Sharma said.

Led by Sharma, the AJKPC staged protests and burnt the effigies of NC president Farooq Abdullah and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti.

“These institutions have nothing to do with any political outfit of the state. We will not allow these parties to scuttle the election process for their political gains,” Sharma said.

The PDP announced Monday that it would boycott the forthcoming urban local body and Panchayat polls and sought the central government’s commitment in safeguarding constitutional provisions for Jammu and Kashmir.

The PDP’s decision to boycott local body elections comes days after its arch-rival, the National Conference, announced not to contest the polls until the Centre and the Governor administration clarify its position on Article 35-A, which gives special rights to the people in the state and bars outsiders from owning immovable property.

The Supreme Court had on August 31 deferred the hearing on a bunch of petitions challenging Article 35-A of the Constitution, as the Centre had urged the court to take up the matter after Panchayat elections in the state.

The AJKPC leader said the issue of Article 35-A was sub-judice in the Supreme Court, and the PDP and the NC should not use Panchayats to influence the court of law.

Earlier, AJKPC members, drawing from all 10 districts of Jammu province, took part in the day-long convention and deliberated on the prevailing situation in the state in the wake of the poll boycott call given by the PDP and the NC.

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