Srinagar: The National Conference on Friday said that their election boycott was restricted to civic body and panchayat polls and they will contest state assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Jammu & Kashmir.
Both National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had announced boycott of the municipal and panchayat elections this year over the Government of India’s “non-committal” attitude to defending Article 35A of the Indian Constitution, which gives special privileges and rights to J&K citizens.
In a statement issued today, NC provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani rejected the jibes of Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Jitendra Singh, as “sheer panic borne out of BJP’s edginess”.
“The decision (of boycott) had nothing to do with Assembly or Parliament elections. We will fight to win the forthcoming elections so as to defend Article 35 A and Article 370, and to prevent BJP from installing its proxies via the backdoor, as they have started doing,” Wani said.
“The assertions of Dr Singh are reflective of the jitteriness that BJP and its proxies in Kashmir are facing,” he said.
“Even if we wanted to boycott the forthcoming elections, people would pressurise us to fight. They are watchful of BJP and its henchmen, and in such an uncertain situation people would want us to put up a strong front against the contriving RSS and its servile proxies,” he said.
“Our party took a stand to stay away from ULB and Panchayat elections in wake of the vacillating approach of GOI towards ART 35A/ Art 370 which is an article of faith for us,” Wani said in his statement. “We have already requested Governor SP Malik to plead for deferment of next hearing on Art 35A in SC (Supreme Court) till the formation of a popular government in the state. He has principally agreed to our suggestion.”
Wani said that the BJP, in spite of a poor challenge put up by the Congress and the non-participation of local parties, had to be content with just four municipal wards in Srinagar.
“The very thought of us participating in the elections has unnerved them. Our endeavour shall be to resist any machinations of RSS and its proxies in the state. People would never want us to let these forces win and make inroads in the state,” he said.
“My advice to Dr Singh would be to stop being panicky and remember that the next elections will be a fight, not a one-sided walkover,” he said.