Logjam over Panchayat polls continues

Srinagar: During the All Party Meet convened by the government over postponement of the Panchayat polls, the opposition parties in unison on Sunday slammed government over not taking them into confidence when polls were earlier announced.

The meet that was attended by both ruling as well as the opposition parties of Jammu and Kashmir took place at Panchayat Bhavan Jammu and was chaired by the chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.

The main objective behind the meet was to seek suggestions from the political parties over whether Panchayat polls should be held in the state amid the grim security scenario.

According to the KNS correspondent, the opposition political parties including national conference and Congress were unanimously targeting the incumbent regime over the unnatural way in which the Panchayat polls were announced at first. The castigated the government over not taking the political parties in confidence when the decision to hold Panchayat polls from February 15, this year, was announced.

NC delegation was led by party’s general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, Provincial Presidents Nasir Aslam Wani, Davinder Singh Rana and senior leader Mohammad Akbar Lone.

After attending meet, Sagar told KNS that if the government couldn’t hold Anantnag by-polls on time, how it went ahead by announcing Panchayat polls across the state. “We are not against the elections but the government has to ensure that the security situation is conducive for the polls,” Sagar told KNS.

Sagar said “a conducive atmosphere has to be created for the holding of Panchayat elections in the state. The government announced the decision of conducting panchayat polls some time back and now after announcing the decision he opposition parties are asked for their views on holding the polls. The ball is in the court of the government which has to take a decision keeping in view its announcements, the present security scenario in Kashmir valley, willingness of people in the participation of polls and the continuing cordon and search operation (CASO) which has now reached central and north Kashmir”.

CMI (M) leader Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami told KNS that the elections are held for the people and their betterment and if the government is sceptic whether people would participate in them or not then it is a high time that serious Confidence Building Measures are taken on ground. “You have to regain peoples’ trust and then go ahead to strengthen the democratic institutions on ground. No one is against the polls but the priority should be to take people into confidence at an earliest,” Tarigami told KNS.

Ghulam Hassan Mir, Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen and Engineer Rashid too slammed the government during the APM over announcing the polls unilaterally and not taking other political parties into confidence at that time.

Talking to KNS, DPN president Ghulam Hassan Mir said that I told them Panchayat elections lay the foundation for democracy and should be held as soon as the atmosphere becomes conducive to holding of elections in the state. “I favour the elections but the conducive atmosphere has to be created for the conduct of such polls in the state”.

The Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti who was chairing the meet told the participants that the final decision over whether to hold the polls or postpone them shall be taken in a next cabinet meet while taking the views of the political parties into consideration. (KNS)


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