The working committee of the National Conference will meet soon after the party leaders are released to chalk out the future political road map of the party
After boycotting Panchayat polls, National Conference, one of the mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir, is all set to boycott Block Development council polls beginning October 24.
In all probability, arch-rival Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) too would chalk out the similar course of action by staying away from the poll arena claiming the absence of conducive atmosphere.
In September 2018, the NC and the PDP, the two main regional parties of J&K, had boycotted the Panchayat elections seeking the protection of state’s special status under Article 370.
Though no formal announcement has been made so far in this regard but Provincial President, National Conference, Devender Singh Rana, who led a team of 15 member delegation to meet National Conference President and sitting parliamentarian from Srinagar, Dr Farooq Abdullah, in Srinagar on Sunday dropped clear hints while interacting with the reporters.
The common man on the street has lost faith ever since Centre abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories
He said, “to start a political process in the state it is imperative to release all political leaders, under detention since August 5″.
Clarifying stand of the party in front of the media persons, who were keen to know the future strategy of the party, Rana categorically told reporters, “the party leadership in Kashmir valley is behind bars. Even if the mandate has to be signed it will be signed by the party President Dr Farooq Abdullah, ironically detained under Public Safety Act and proposed by the party General Secretary, who is currently under detention in SKICC”.
He said, at present, both of them are under detention. Therefore, he said, “for the political process to start it is imperative that all the mainstream political leaders, who are under detention, are released and a conducive atmosphere is created”.
Striking discordant notes, NC Parliamentarian Justice (Retd) Hasnain Masoodi said, “There is no political atmosphere in Jammu and Kashmir right now and talking about or participating in elections is futile“.
NC leader Devender Singh Rana, who is also a brother of senior BJP leader and Union minister Jitendra Singh, said the working committee of the party is expected to take a final decision after the release of its detained leaders
According to the poll schedule announced by the Chief Electoral officer Shailendra Kumar, Block Development Council polls will be held on October 24 in which over 26,000 panches and sarpanches will elect Block Chairpersons of 310 blocks.
Political observers believed the mainstream political parties in Kashmir valley are facing credibility crisis. The common man on the street has lost faith ever since Centre abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories.
NC leaders meet Omar Abdullah
Before meeting Dr Farooq Abdullah at his Gupkar road residence, National Conference leaders from Jammu also called on former Chief Minister and party Vice President Omar Abdullah at Hari Niwas guest house.
The delegation discussed developments in the state and upcoming local body polls during the separate meetings with the two leaders.
For the first time in the last 62 days, Dr Abdullah came out in public domain and was photographed. He took maximum advantage of the rare opportunity and flashed a victory sign, standing in the company of his wife Molly Abdullah and two senior Parliamentarians from Kashmir valley Mohd Akbar Lone and Justice (Retd) Hasnain Masoodi.
On the other hand, Omar Abdullah, sporting a beard, was seen clicking a selfie with party leaders during their half an hour-long stay with him in the guest house.
After meeting the party President and Vice-President, NC leader Devender Singh Rana categorically told reporters,” the working committee of the National Conference will meet soon after the party leaders are released to chalk out the future political road map of the party”. “Let them be released, then the working committee of the party will meet and discuss and then we will formulate a strategy for the future,” Rana said when questioned about the party’s future strategy.
He, however, remained non-committal on participating in the BDC polls at this juncture.
Meanwhile, a 17-member delegation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was on Sunday granted permission to meet party chief Mehbooba Mufti on Monday, hours after an NC delegation met their party leaders.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.