JAMMU BJP general secretary Ram Madhav on Friday alleged that activists of the NC and the PDP were trying to derail civic polls in Jammu and Kashmir like militants and were threatening independent candidates.
In a scathing attack on the National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which have announced boycott of the polls, Madhav alleged that the two “dynasty-run parties” were against grassroots democracy in the state.
He, however, praised the Congress for contesting the polls.
“(militants) and over ground workers are involved in derailing and destabilizing polls. The same is being done by the activists of NC and PDP. We have reports that in several places in Kashmir Valley, the activists of these outfits (NC and PDP) are threatening candidates who are going to file nominations as independents,” Madav told reporters here.
The BJP has complained to the administration and the police alleging that NC and PDP activists were threatening candidates who were filing nominations as Independents in urban local body polls in Kashmir.
Madhav said “police have assured us that wherever there are complaints, action has been started”.
He claimed that while the “top leadership (of NC and PDP) ran away from contesting polls”, some of their members were filing nominations as independents. “They are undertaking proxy nominations in these polls. We still welcome them,” he said.
He said that during his two-day visit to Kashmir Valley, he has seen that despite “threats and attempts to create fear psychosis, a good number of nominations have been filed by the locals”.
“People want the democratic set up at the grassroots level. We appeal to the people of Kashmir Valley that they should stand with those who want installation of grassroots democracy in Kashmir Valley by voting in large numbers,” he said.
He said the BJP is trying to encourage all in Kashmir Valley to participate in large number in polls in the Valley.
“We are encouraging all in Kashmir valley to contest polls and we want that there should be peaceful and good elections,” he added.
The BJP leader said that the party has fielded maximum candidates from among the locals with only a few from Kashmiri migrants.
“99.9 per cent of candidates, who have filed their nominations on BJP ticket, are locals in Kashmir Valley. Most of our candidates in Kashmir Valley for these polls are locals with some migrants also contesting these polls where migrant population wards are there,” he said.
Madhav said the outcome of the polls is not important for the party as “our success is that BJP is welcomed in Kashmir Valley as locals are contesting these elections on BJP tickets in places like Anantnag, Shopian and Pulwama.
“It shows that there is a good support for the BJP in Kashmir Valley as well,” he added.
He said people will teach the NC and the PDP “a lesson” for their decision to boycott the polls.
Asked about implementation of 73rd and 74th amendments, which gave Constitutional status to panchayati raj institutions and urban local bodies respectively, he said that funds for empowerment of panchayats did not come to the state because these amendments were not put in place.
“We tried to ensure that they are put in place by convincing our coalition partner during last three years of government in the state but it did not happen. We could not do so because of our coalition partner. That is why we chose to move out of the government,” he said, referring to the PDP with which the BJP had snapped ties in June this year.
He said that BJP candidates are fighting in all the municipal wards of Srinagar.
“It shows the will-power of our candidates. The two big parties of Kashmir valley- NC and PDP have been making all types of attempts to foil these polls by giving poll boycott calls….
“They do not want that the young leadership to emerge from the villages of Kashmir Valley and that the local people in villages and towns run their own government at grassroots level. They are against grassroots democracy,” he added.
“The poll boycott parties do not have any interest in Jammu, Ladakh and parts of north Kashmir in Kashmir Valley, but only in the demands of (militants) and succumbing to the demands of terrorists and that is their politics,” he alleged.
The BJP is taking part in these polls with courage and confidence, he said.
“We are happy that the Congress is contesting elections because we thought they will also join the two Kashmir centric parties in boycotting polls. They have taken the right decision to contest the elections. We praise them for that,” Madhav said.
“The interest of Jammu and Kashmir is inseparable from the interest of India. and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is taking the country in the right direction. We hope that the country will progress and so will Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Urban local bodies elections will be held in four phases from October 8. Panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir will be held in nine-phases beginning November 17.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.