SRINAGAR: A list of proxy candidates fielded by National Conference (NC) and People Democratic Party (PDP) in the municipal elections will be soon made public, the BJP’s Kashmir in-charge for the municipal polls, Tariq Khan, said on Thursday.
Tariq made these claims while releasing BJP’s urban local body (ULB) election manifesto at the party office in Srinagar’s Jawahar Nagar.
“NC and PDP are officially on election boycott but unofficially have fielded candidates in the ULB elections. We will come up with a list of such candidates soon,” said Tariq in response to a question.
Both PDP and NC had announced boycott of the ULB and Panchayat elections to protect the state’s “unique” position in the Union of India. However, it is widely believed that both the parties have fielded proxy candidates to safeguard their constituencies for the assembly elections. Such reports have been rejected by both the parties.
Regarding threats issued by militants to ULB candidates, Tariq said that such attempts are nothing new in Kashmir.
“Threats come and go. Threats have been received by many people, including businessmen, in the past. But the contestants in these elections have chosen to institutionalise democracy at the grassroots level. We salute those who have come out in the field despite so much anxiety in the air,” said Tariq.
Hizbul Mujahideen, Kashmir’s most prominent militant outfit, has earlier issued several threats to those who would contest in the ULB and Panchayat elections. Many candidates have withdrawn their nominations and scores of seats remain uncontested. The contestants that still remain are campaigning secretly, a fact admitted by Tariq. He said they are doing so for their protection.
Tariq said that the BJP will realise its dream of grassroots democracy and will ensure proper sanitation and garbage disposal, sufficient space for vendors, maintenance of drains, recreational wards for senior citizens, making building permissions hassle-free, and establishing complaint boxes for common people.