NC playing role of separatists by boycotting civic bodies polls: JK BJP

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Jammu: The J-K BJP Wednesday hit out at the National Conference for announcing to boycott the forthcoming civic bodies polls in Jammu and Kashmir, alleging the party was playing the “role of separatists” by blackmailing the government of India on Article 35-A which is subjudice.

Party president Farooq Abdullah said Wednesday the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference will boycott the local body and panchayat elections in the state unless the Centre takes effective steps for protection of Article 35-A of the Constitution, which is facing legal challenge in the Supreme Court.

Article 35A, which was incorporated in the Constitution by a 1954 Presidential Order, accords special rights and privileges to the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir and bars people from outside the state from acquiring any immovable property in the state.

JK BJP spokesperson Priya Sethi told reporters, “The NC is playing the role of separatists by boycotting civic polls and trying to blackmail Government of India on Article 35-A, which is subjudice.”

She claimed that every time the central and state governments try to take new initiatives of empowering people in Jammu and Kashmir by holding urban local bodies and panchayati elections, regional parties particularly the NC try to play “separatist politics” and derail the initiative.

“It is they who tried to derail the process and resort to blackmail tactics. They are definitely sabotaging the systems and processes. The statement of the NC and its leaders is very unfortunate,” Sethi said.

All the regional political parties including the NC and PDP, have always played a negative role in the state, she claimed.

BJP spokesman Anil Gupta said that the NC was deliberately trying to change the narrative and mislead the people of the state by adding a new dimension of the Constitution of separate regional and sub-regional councils in order to divert their attention from the all-important issue of legality of Article 35A.

Gupta said, “Having miserably failed in its propaganda to convince the people by creating a fear psychosis about the loss of identity and job opportunities in case of Article 35A being declared invalid by the Supreme Court, its leaders are now trying to confuse the people with the old idea of regional councils.” PTI

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