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Centre sabotaging participation of non-BJP parties in DDC polls: Mehbooba

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Says, she was prevented from visiting area in Pulwama

Srinagar, Nov 21: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday accused the Centre of “sabotaging” the participation of political parties other than the BJP in the District Development Council (DDC) polls in Jammu and Kashmir by not allowing them to campaign freely.

Mehbooba’s allegations came as major political parties in the Valley blame lack of a level-playing field for the elections, accusing the administration of locking up their candidates in accommodations at several places and not allowing them to campaign.

“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 DC Anantnag for his release @manojsinha_,” the PDP chief said on Twitter.

Police have said the candidates were being provided “collective security” and put up in secure areas as providing security to every candidate was difficult.

Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said the candidates are provided a double escort and the security forces guard an area where they want to visit and campaign after leaving their secure accommodations.

Meanwhile, PDP president on Saturday claimed that she was stopped by the police from visiting Rambiara Nalla in Pulwama district of south Kashmir.

She claimed that sand extraction through “illegal tenders” was being carried out in the area and lashed out at the administration alleging that Jammu and Kashmir has been turned into “an open air prison”.

There was no response from the police to queries on Mehbooba’s charges.

“I was stopped from visiting Rambiara Nalla today by local admin. This is where sand extraction through illegal tenders has been outsourced to outsiders & locals are barred from the area. Our land & resources are being plundered by GOI that has nothing but contempt for us (sic),” Mehbooba said on Twitter.

The PDP chief alleged that the BJP was “brazenly violating” her rights and “curbing” her movements under the “guise” of security.

The former chief minister of the erstwhile state said she would fight tooth and nail against the “onslaught” on the rights and identity of the people.

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