Congress may ‘not contest’ J&K BDC polls

Jammu: Days after announcing participation in the Block Development Council polls in Jammu and Kashmir, to be held on October 24, the state unit of Congress may take a U-turn, by ”not contesting” the elections.
”The Congress party, although announced to be in fray and contest the BDC polls, but after holding continuous deliberations and ‘manthan’ with the party high command and the state leadership, Congress may step back-foot,” sources in the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee told UNI.
They said the decision regarding ‘not to contest’ the BDC polls is almost final and likely to be announced by JKPCC Chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir, in a briefing here on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, JKPCC chief Spokesperson Ravinder Sharma, said here on Tuesday that Congress is taking review of the overall scenario, with regard to BDC elections, in the wake of continued restrictions on the majority of senior Congress leaders in the entire Valley.
”The PCC President is in consultation with the top functionaries and senior leaders, especially on communication in Kashmir Valley, to take stock of the situation, with regard to the ongoing elections of BDCs, despite party’s strong reservations about the conduciveness of overall situation in the state,” he added.
Mr Sharma alleged that there is total non-cooperation from the government, even after the party’s willingness to participate in the elections, announced unilaterally by the government.
”The party is taking a fresh review of the entire situation and getting feedback of different quarters, especially from Kashmir Valley, after the announcement of polls,” he maintained.
Earlier on October 4, Mr Sharma had announced to take part in the state Block Development Council elections, despite expressing reservations of the party about the conduciveness of the overall political and security environment for the electoral exercise at this juncture, when most of its leaders, especially in the Valley, are still under house arrest and various other kinds of restrictions, apart from keeping the entire opposition away from any kind of political movement, for two long months.
”The political and security environment not being conducive, heavy odds of security, other restrictions, lack of communication, most of our leadership in Kashmir valley still under restrictions and moreover, without extending the left out provisions of the 73rd amendment in the new Constitutional arrangement and in the wake of 12052 seats in Panchayat in Valley still vacant, the Congress has taken the bold decision to take part in this election, in the larger interest of the democracy, people of the state and the nation,” he had said.
Despite heavy odds and hurdles being faced by the opposition due to government policy, Congress would take part in the elections and ensure a tough fight to the BJP and other rivals, he had added.