New Delhi: A day after the National Conference (NC), decided to boycott the panchayat and urban local bodies election in Jammu and Kashmir, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has also distanced itself from the polls, unless the Centre clarifies its position on Article 35-A of the Constitution, which is facing legal challenge in the Supreme Court. Also Read - 'J&K up For Sale': Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti Slam Centre Over New Land Law
According to a report, the PDP has said that it would take a final decision only after ‘wider consultations’. However, sources close to the party has claimed that PDP leaders are in favour of a boycott as the petition challenging Article 35 A is in the apex court. Also Read - You Can Buy Land in Jammu And Kashmir Now, Home Ministry Issues Gazette Notification
Speaking to media after the party’s core group met on Thursday, PDP spokesperson Rafi Ahmad Mir said,”We have some reservations. We have already said the government has mixed Article 35 A with elections. There are apprehensions in the Valley that the government would tinker with Article 35 A after the election is over. We don’t want to see our people disturbed.” Also Read - Major Setback to PDP as 3 Jammu-based Leaders Quit Party Over Mehbooba Mufti's Flag Remark
Earlier on Wednesday, NC president and former chief minister Farooq Abdullah announced that his party will stay out of the panchayat and urban local body elections. “The core group unanimously decided that the National Conference will not participate in these elections unless and until the government of India and the state government clear their position in this regard and take effective steps for protection of Article 35-A in and outside the courts,” Abdullah had said.
The state administration had last week announced the schedule for holding the elections to local body poll in the state. While the urban local body polls are slated for the first week of October, the panchayat elections are scheduled to be held in November-December this year. Jammu and Kashmir is currently under governor’s rule.