Civic Polls in J&K Likely to be Postponed After National Conference, PDP vow Boycott

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said her party will not contest the polls as the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir is not favourable.
Srinagar: The urban local body elections in Jammu and Kashmir, scheduled for October and November this year, are likely to be postponed, after National Conference and Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP decided to boycott the polls.

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said they will not contest the polls as the prevailing situation was not favourable. “We will go to any extent to protect Article 35A,” said Mufti.

She said the people of the state have "sacrificed a lot" and no one can fiddle with the validity of Article 35 A.

Article 35-A, which was incorporated in the Constitution by a 1954 Presidential Order, accords special rights and privileges to the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir and denies property rights to women who marry those from outside the state. The provision, which leads to such women from the state forfeiting their right over property, also applies to their heirs. It has been challenged in the Supreme Court.

Boycotting the polls, NC president Farooq Abdullah said on Saturday: "How can we go to our workers and ask them to come out to vote? First do justice to us and clear your (Centre) stand (on Article 35-A). If your plan is that (weakening Jammu and Kashmir's special position), then our ways are separate. Then we cannot have elections. Not only these (urban local bodies and panchayat) polls, but we will also boycott the assembly and parliamentary elections then."

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