SRINAGAR: 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, party president Farooq Abdullah said Wednesday.
“Recently announced Urban local body and panchayat polls came under discussion during our party’s core group meeting today. The core group felt that this decision of holding polls was taken in a hurried manner, without taking into consideration the prevailing situation created by the powers that be, by unnecessarily fiddling with Article 35A,” National Conference president and MP Farooq Abdullah told reporters after core group meeting.
He said the party has decided not to contest the forthcoming ULB and panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir “until the Central government and the state government clear their position on Article 35 A and take effective steps for its protection in and outside the court”.
The Governor administration has announced holding of 4-phase municipal and 8-phase panchayat polls in the state from October to December.
Abdullah said party’s core group felt that any tinkering with Art 35 A would prove disastrous not only for J&K but for the entire country.
The party felt that role of the Central government and the present dispensation in Jammu and Kashmir before the Supreme Court goes clearly against the wishes and aspirations of the people of the state.
Supreme court while hearing petitions challenging validity of Article 35A on August 27 had deferred the hearing till January next year.