The decision to hold panchayat and urban local body elections in Jammu and Kashmir despite “stiff opposition” by the mainstream political parties reflects government of India’s “sheer arrogance”, the People’s Democratic Party said on Monday, and cautioned that such a move could “turn the volatile state into an inferno.”
In a statement, PDP’s general secretary GhulamNabi Lone Hanjura said that despite stiff opposition by political parties to these elections, the decision to go ahead with the polls “reflects how the helmsmen in New Delhi want to make such a vital democratic exercise a one-way street.”
The PDP and other political groups have already been voicing their concern that the situation is not conducive for holding any kind of elections and that the central government has to initiate confidence building measures to “rebuild people’s trust and faith in the institutions of democracy”, he said.
However, the PDP leader said that New Delhi instead of taking into consideration the views and opinions put forth by the state’s political spectrum has gone ahead to announce the poll dates.
“New Delhi has to understand what it will achieve by holding such polls when the situation merits pacification and reconciliation. Further, what has acted as a spoilsport in the entire process is the government’s linking of polls with the hearing of Article 35-A. This is unnatural, bizarre and unacceptable,” Hanjura said.
He said that the people in J&K are up in arms over the issue of Article 35-A and the government of India’s decision to link the polls with the hearing of the Article 35-A case has “set the alarm bells ringing” in the state.
“Why has the government of India decided to thrust this exercise on the already-perturbed people despite such a unanimous opposition by the political groups. It proves that something somewhere in the decision-making has gone terribly wrong which needs immediate rectification by the government of India,” Hanjura said.
Reacting to a statement by union minister Jitendra Singh that political groups in the state fear a rout and that is why they are opposing holding of the civic polls, Hanjura said that the BJP leader should have kept the fact in mind that PDP has “already proven its might by emerging as the single-largest party in the state and such statements coming from the BJP are proving that the party is playing ostrich with its head stuck in sand when it comes to Jammu and Kashmir.”