Srinagar: Peoples Conference (PC) chairman and MLA Handwara, Sajad Gani Lone on Monday said that the local body elections provide an opportunity to the people to elect representatives for their day to day local issues and decentralizes governance.
“A local ward representative is able to take into account local grievances more effectively. In these elections we have to vote for the people and I personally have cast my vote for the people and hope elected local representatives help in strengthening the modes of governance,” Lone said while talking to reporters after casting his vote in Handwara.
He said that political parties have a right to not participate in elections but the boycott and dissent remains half baked and farcical when the same political parties continue to occupy posts of legislators and parliamentarians and continue to enjoy the perks of office.
“If they are really serious about boycott there are a host of better options available without impacting local governance. They can resign from their posts. They can refuse salary. They can boycott official accommodation. They can say a big NO to security. Confining boycott selectively to grass root democracy is cruel. Stunting local body representation while having a different yardstick for assembly and parliament seats is hypocritical,” he said.
“My party has boycotted elections for more than 20 years in the past and the futility and disadvantages of boycott are well established – with the common people bearing the brunt of inadequate and lack of representation,” he said, adding that “I wish all the candidates good luck and hope the new elected representatives serve the people with zeal and honesty.”