SRINAGAR: In a major relief to the Governor’s administration, the State Congress on Wednesday decided to contest the forthcoming Urban Local Body (ULB) and panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir starting next month.
"We have decided to contest the local body and panchayat polls in the State with full force. We will be utilising all our resources to stop communal forces from entering these institutions," State Congress chief GA Mir told reporters.
The decision was announced by Mir a day after State Congress leaders held deliberations with party High Command in New Delhi.
"We have asked the Governor’s administration to provide security to contesting candidates and create a peaceful atmosphere for the polls. We have decided to contest elections on the basis of these conditions. The Congress doesn't want to run away from its responsibilities," Mir said.
He, however, said they would continue to monitor the security situation.
"We will come to know by September 25 what security would be provided by the government to the people who contest the polls," he said.
Mir said if the party feels that free and fair polls are not possible, then the Congress would assess the situation and take another decision. "We have not entered into a sell out."
Mir said boycott of polls by some parties may be a conspiracy to pave the way for communal forces to enter these institutions.
The four-phase ULB polls would be held on October 8, 10, 13 and 16 while the 9-phase panchayat polls would be held on November 17, 20, 24, 27, 29 and December 1, 4, 8 and 11.
The National Conference, PDP and CPI(M) have boycotted the polls on various issues.
The separatists have called on people to boycott the polls while militants have warned those contesting the polls of "dire consequences".