New Delhi: The National Conference has decided not to take part in the recently announced local body polls in Jammu and Kashmir, said senior NC leaders after meeting party president Farooq Abdullah at his residence on Sunday. “The party would not participate in the elections for the Block Development Council because the “entire leadership is in jail”, a leading daily quoted  senior NC leaders Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi as saying.

Notably, a 15-member NC delegation, led by provincial president Devender Singh Rana met Abdullah, nearly 62 days after the 81-year-old leader was placed under preventive detention post revocation of Article 370. The party leaders also met NC president’s son and former Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah, who was detained at a state guest house. “We are happy that both are well and in high spirits. They are pained and anguished about the developments, particularly the lockdown of the people”, said Rana.

Furthermore, the delegation sought the release of the father-son duo to kick-start the political process in Valley ahead of the Block Development Council (BDC) elections. “We as a party appeal that for the political process to start and democracy to revive in Valley, the political detenures, who have no criminal record, must be released.”

Both Farooq and Omar were under preventive detention ever since the Centre revoked Article 370. While Farooq Abdullah was under house arrest at his Srinagar residence after being booked under the Public Safety Act, Omar was detained at a state guest house.

Beside the father-son duo, the government has also detained most of the political leadership of Kashmir, including Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti and Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference chairman Sajjad Lone.