New Delhi: In another significant development, the Congress on Wednesday announced to boycott the upcoming Jammu and Kashmir Block Development Council polls, slated to be held later this month, saying the Election Commission should have consulted all parties. It also said many of its party leaders are also under detention.

 

“We’ve come to realise that these elections (Block Development Council elections) are being held to facilitate only one party – ruling party. Our leaders are under detention. We have no other option but to announce that we are boycotting the election,” Congress leader Ghulam Ahmad Mir was quoted as saying by ANI.

The development comes at a time when October 9 is the final date to file nomination for the local body polls in the Valley state which will become a separate Union territory on October 31.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shailendra Kumar had earlier announced that the J-K BDC polls will be held in 310 blocks on October 24 and the counting of votes will also take place on the same day.

“Date for issuing gazette notification is October 1. The last date of filing nomination is October 9. The last date for withdrawal of nomination is October 11. The elections will be held from 9 am to 1 pm on October 24 and the counting of votes will begin from 3 pm the same day,” Kumar had said earlier.

He had also mentioned that out of total 316 blocks, elections are only held in 310 blocks. “Through this election, the Panchs and Sarpanchs who were elected last year will be voting to elect BDC chairpersons in these blocks. The total number of electors is 26,629 and the elections will be held through the ballot box,” Kumar said.

As per the CEC, candidates can only spend Rs 2 lakh on the campaign for the polls, and 172 seats out of 316 seats are reserved for SC, ST and women.