Jammu, Oct 5 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress (JKPCC) Chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir Friday said Congress will win comfortably in urban local bodies (ULB) elections as it has strong base in the state.

Addressing a series of election meetings here, he appealed the people to vote in favour of Congress candidates for the better and equitable development, peace and prosperity in the state.

“Congress will win comfortably in ongoing ULB elections, as it has strong base in all three regions of the state, Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. BJP and PDP have weaken the Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRI) and were dividing the state in the name of religion, region, caste & community,” he said.

The JKPCC chief alleged Modi government was trying to divert the attention of people from the real issues of corruption, blackmoney, failure on demonetization, failure in providing 2 crores jobs per year, disoriented GST, unprecedented hike in prices of all items, the atmosphere of hatred and division in the country, increasing crimes against women etc.

Mir said Congress was always in favour of strengthening the grass-roots level institutions of democracy and succeeded in its struggle to fully empower Panchayat Raj system by implementing and incorporating the 73rd amendment in the State Panchayat Raj Act in March 2014.

Over 16 lakh voters are eligible to vote in the four-phased Jammu and Kashmir urban local body polls that begin from October 8, officials said.

The first phase of polling will be undertaken on October 8, followed by second phase on October 10, third on October 13 and the fourth and final phase on October 16. Counting of the votes will be taken up on October 20.

The state’s two major political parties — National Conference and PDP — have boycotted the elections over the legal challenge to Article 35-A of the Constitution in the Supreme Court.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.