PDP yet to take final call on local elections, but likely to go NC way

A day after the National Conference announced that it would boycott the upcoming panchayat elections, the Peoples Democratic Party on Thursday decided to go for further consultations on the panchayat poll participation.

The decision was taken by the Political Affairs Committee (PAC), the highest decision-making body of the party, after a meeting which was chaired by Mehbooba Mufti at her residence. Party insiders, however, said the PDP was likely to go the NCway. It was likely to announce the boycott in a day or two.

A senior party leader said the linking of Article 35A with elections by the government had created apprehensions in the minds of the people that it might be tampered with.

“There was already a fear over 35A and this has compounded the apprehensions, which has vitiated the atmosphere. Election is always a sensitive issue here and it has now become hypersensitive after the government has linked it with 35A.

Our party will go for wider consultations to decide whether to take part in the panchayat poll or not,” said PAC member Nizamudin Bhat, who attended the meeting. He said the party would talk to its legislators and leaders before taking the final call. “The situation is difficult for poll. We can’t make people vulnerable.

We cannot throw them to risk. Whatever decision we take will be in the larger interest of the people,” Bhat said. When asked whether the PDP decision would be influenced by the NC boycott, Bhat his party was not in competition with other parties. “Our credentials are proven. We believe in democracy and whatever decision will be taken, it will be in the interest of public and their sentiment,” he said.