Row over Article 35A: PDP to boycott panchayat, municipal polls

Addressing reporters after the party meeting, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said they will not contest the polls as the prevailing situation was not favourable.

Published: 10th September 2018 02:01 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th September 2018 02:57 PM   |  A+A-

Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti (File | PTI)

By PTI

SRINAGAR: The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), another regional party of Jammu and Kashmir, Monday announced it will boycott the municpal and panchayat elections to be held later this month, days after the National Conference decision to stay away from the polls.

Addressing reporters after the party meeting, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said they will not contest the polls as the prevailing situation was not favourable.

"We will go to any extent to protect Article 35A," said Mufti at a press conference in Srinagar.

She said the people of the state have "sacrificed a lot" and no one can fiddle with the validity of Article 35 A.

PDP spokesperson Rafi Ahmad Mir told reporters unless the apprehensions expressed by the people with regard to Article 35A are satisfactorily addressed, "we feel holding of municipal and panchayat polls will be a futile exercise".

ALSO READ | Supreme Court defers hearing on Article 35A to January next year

The move comes just days after the National Conference announced that it will not contest the panchayat polls and even the 2019 elections "until and unless the Government of India and the state government clear their position on Article 35 A and takes effective steps to protect Article 35 A in and outside the court".

Article 35A, which gives special rights to people in the state and bars outsiders from owning immovable property, has been challenged in the Supreme Court.

The apex court had on August 31 deferred the hearing on a bunch of petitions challenging Article 35A of the Constitution, as the Centre urged the court to take up the matter after panchayat elections in the state.

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