Srinagar: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Monday slammed the central government for going ahead with panchayat and municipal elections in Jammu & Kashmir. The CPI(M) said this showed the “arrogance” of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Union government.
“The decision of the government to go ahead with panchayat and urban local bodies elections despite majority of mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir deciding not to participate… shows the arrogance of the BJP-led central government,” state secretary CPI(M), Ghulam Nabi Malik, said in a statement here.
The CPI(M) is the third political party after National Conference (NC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to stay away from the polls scheduled to be held from next month.
“The government should have convened an all party meeting to discuss this issue. Unfortunately, that has not been done. Keeping the prevailing situation in consideration, the CPI(M) has decided not to participate in these polls,” the CPI(M) state secretary said.
Malik said it was wrong on the part of the state government to use the polls as reason to seek deferment of the hearing on Article 35A in the Supreme Court. “The mainstream political parties had also urged the centre to clear its stand over Article 35A before announcing ULB and Panchayat elections,” Malik said.
He also said that Additional Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta “crossed his brief” while representing the J&K government in the Supreme Court.
Malik said that the prevailing situation in Kashmir was another reason for parties seeking deferment of the polls.
“CPI(M) had always been demanding dialogue with voices of dissent in the state. But now the situation has reached a stage where even the suggestions of mainstream political parties are being ignored,” he said.
Stressing that the CPI(M) stands for the empowerment of institutions for which participation of people in the election process is a must, Malik said that on the ground the situation is such that participation of people is “doubtful”.