Jammu, February 16:
The National Conference (NC) has decided to participate in the Panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir next month but wants “roadblocks” placed in its way to be removed so that it can campaign freely.
In a letter to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shailendra Kumar, NC central secretary Rattan Lal Gupta said the party is a strong votary of democratic process and wishes to participate in the eight-phase elections starting March 5 in over 11,000 seats. A copy of the letter has been marked to the Chief Election Commissioner.
The letter states that it is practically impossible for the party to participate in the election when its top leaders, including its president Farooq Abdullah, vice president Omar Abdullah, general secretary Ali Mohammed Sagar, are in detention under the stringent Public Safety Act.
Gupta asked the CEO to advice the party on how these roadblocks, that have been placed in the way of participation, can be overcome.
“If the aim is to create conditions to exclude all other parties except the BJP, then nothing more needs to be said but if the aim is to create a genuine culture of grassroots democracy, then the process adopted is a deeply flawed one,” he wrote.