BJP shortlists candidates, NC, PDP term govt decision as ‘Mockery of Democracy’

While the Congress is still in a dilemma over its participation in the urban local bodies election, the BJP has shortlisted potential candidates for all 79 civic bodies of the state. The list of candidates is likely to be issued within a couple of days.

Sources said the BJP state working committee met on Sunday and decided to hold a meeting of party MLAs and district presidents on Monday morning to finalise the candidates. “It was informed in the working committee meeting that the leadership has already scrutinised the panels submitted by the district presidents and the final announcement would be made within a couple of days,” a source said, adding, “during the meeting it emerged that there was an overwhelming response from candidates in the Kashmir Valley also.”

Unlike other parties, the BJP had prepared panels of names of three candidates for each ward of the 79 municipal bodies across the state in August this year.
Meanwhile, the BJP lambasted the National Conference and PDP for boycotting the poll. It said the Kashmir-centric parties were trying to impose their decisions on the Jammu region where people have full faith and trust in democracy and democratic institutions of the country.

On the concluding day of the state working committee meeting held at Akhnoor, the party leaders hailed the decision to conduct urban local bodies and panchayat elections. They said the much-awaited elections would help in empowering people at the grassroots level.

Union Minister in the PMO Jitendra Singh took the Kashmir-centric parties to the task for boycotting the poll. He claimed the leaders of these parties were trying to impose their decisions on Jammu. “Jammu-based leaders of Kashmir-centric parties have to decide whether they would toe the line of separatists or work for strengthening of the democratic institutions in the state,” he said.

Meanwhile, A day after the J&K Chief Electoral Officer announced the schedule for the urban local bodies election in the state, the mainstream parties — National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) — have termed the decision as a “mockery of democracy”.

Their contention is that the notification for the four-phase poll for the Srinagar Municipal Corporation in itself shows that the security situation is grave even in the summer capital. They said it validated their contention of deteriorating law and order situation in the Valley.

For the Srinagar Municipal Corporation, the poll would be held in four phases. There are 37 wards in the city having a population of 12 lakh as per the 2011 Census. On the other hand, the election for the Jammu Municipal Corporation would be conducted in a single phase.
The NC and PDP have already decided to boycott the poll asking New Delhi to first give a commitment on safeguarding the controversial Article 35A of the Constitution.

They see the poll as a BJP plan to implement its political agenda in Kashmir. Interestingly, the poll would be conducted on a party basis.

“The BJP-led Central government is trying to reduce the democratic process to a military exercise in the Valley. If the security situation is the reason for dividing the poll in four phases in Srinagar city, the condition in municipal committees is even worse,” said Ali Mohammad Sagar, NC general secretary and an MLA from the volatile Khanyar constituency in Srinagar city.

The Congress is yet to officially announce its decision, but senior party activists said its workers in the Valley were insisting that the party should not take part in the poll process in view of militancy.

“It’s just a formality. We are not against the election but the government is not bothered about taking political parties on board. Unless people willingly participate, democracy will be reduced to just a security drill,” said Rafi Mir, PDP spokesperson.

Party district president resigns
Ahead of the urban local bodies and panchayat elections, the BJP received a setback on Sunday when Kuldeep Dubey resigned as the Reasi district president of the party. Dubey had levelled allegations of corruption against a few senior leaders. Sources said during the party’s working committee meeting, Dubey said some former ministers of the party were indulging in corruption

Panchayat polls Phase-wise schedule
Phase 1: November 17..
Kashmir: Bandipora, Baramulla, Budgam, Ganderbal, Kargil, Kupwara, Leh, Srinagar

Jammu: Doda, Kathua, Kishtwar, Poonch, Rajouri, Ramban, Udhampur

Phase 2: November 20..
Kashmir: Anantnag, Bandipora, Baramulla, Budgam, Ganderbal, Kargil, Kupwara, Leh

Jammu: Doda, Kathua, Kishtwar, Poonch, Rajouri, Ramban, Udhampur

Phase 3: November 24..
Kashmir: Bandipora, Baramulla, Budgam, Ganderbal, Kargil, Kulgam, Kupwara,

Leh, Shopian
Jammu: Doda, Kathua, Kishtwar, Poonch, Rajouri, Ramban, Udhampur

Phase 4: November 27..
Kashmir: Anantnag, Bandipora, Baramulla, Budgam, Kargil, Kulgam, Kupwara, Leh, Pulwama, Shopian

Jammu: Doda, Jammu, Kathua, Kishtwar, Poonch, Rajouri, Ramban, Udhampur

Phase 5: November 29..
Kashmir: Anantnag, Bandipora, Baramulla, Budgam, Ganderbal, Kargil, Kulgam, Kupwara, Leh, Pulwama, Shopian

Jammu: Doda, Jammu, Poonch, Rajouri, Ramban, Raesi, Udhampur

Phase 6: December 1..
Kashmir: Anantnag, Bandipora, Baramulla, Budgam, Ganderbal, Kulgam, Kupwara, Pulwama, Shopian, Srinagar

Jammu: Doda, Jammu, Kathua, Poonch, Rajouri, Ramban, Reasi,

Samba, Udhampur
Phase 7: December 4..
Kashmir: Anantnag, Bandipora, Baramulla, Budgam, Ganderbal, Kulgam, Kupwara, Pulwama, Shopian

Jammu: Poonch, Jammu, Rajouri, Ramban,

Reasi, Samba
Phase 8: December 8..
Kashmir: Bandipora, Baramulla, Budgam, Kulgam, Kupwara, Pulwama, Shopian, Srinagar

Jammu: Rajouri, Jammu, Kathua, Reasi, Samba

Phase 9: December 11..
Kashmir: Anantnag, Bandipora, Baramulla, Budgam, Ganderbal, Kulgam, Kupwara, Pulwama, Shopian