J&K local body elections likely to be deferred to January

Srinagar: With Jammu and Kashmir’s two major political parties taking a decision to boycott the local body polls, there is now a chance that the polls scheduled to be held in October are likely to be deferred to January, according to an NDTV report.

The PDP’s decision to boycott local body elections comes days after its arch-rival, the National Conference, announced not to contest the polls until the Centre and the governor administration clarify its position on Article 35A.

A formal decision is likely to be taken by the State Advisory Council (SAC) headed by Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik today, reported NDTV.

On Tuesday, BJP’s national general secretary Ram Madhav positively stated the party’s intentions of contesting the panchayat and local body polls.

He also accused the NC and the PDP of “making excuses” to stop the democratic process in the state.

“We discussed the preparations for the panchayat and local bodies polls. We unanimously decided to participate in the polls. Once the poll schedule is clear, the party will put forth its strategy,” Madhav told reporters here after a meeting of the BJP’s state unit.

The Supreme Court had on August 31 deferred the hearing on a bunch of petitions challenging Article 35A of the Constitution, as the Centre had urged the court to take up the matter after panchayat elections in the state.

Article 35A gives special rights to the people in the state and bars outsiders from owning immovable property.

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