The decision to boycott the upcoming municipal and panchayat polls by the NC and the PDP over Article 35 row has put the The Governor's administration in Jammu and Kashmir in a quandary whether to hold the elections on schedule.
The four-phase municipal polls are scheduled to be held between October 1 and 5 and the eight-phase panchayat election between November 8 and December 4.
The NC was the first announce it would boycott the civil polls if the Centre does clear its stand on Article 35 A of the Constitution that protects the J&K State Subjects Law which bars outsiders from settling in the state.
The Article has been challenged in Supreme Court by right-wing-lined NGO 'We the Citizens' and others on the grounds that it was a mere Presidential order and no an act of Parliament and violates the fundamental rights of citizens of India from settling in Jammu and Kashmir.
The separatist and the mainstream parties argue the attempts to scrap the Article is aimed at changing the demography of the Muslim majority state.
The NC president and MP on September said the party will not only boycott the civic polls but also Lok Sabha and Assembly elections if the Centre doesn't clear its stand on Article 35A and Article 370,”
''We are not run away from elections but first justice does justice with us,'' he said. '' When you do justice with us, we will come forward.''
The PDP followed suit. Its president, Mehbooba Mufti, after chairing a meeting of the party MLAs on September 11, said: “The situation created by linking panchayat polls with the case pending in Supreme Court on Article 35A has created apprehension in the minds of the people, who see an assault on the special constitutional position of the state… It was unanimously resolved that the party would stay away from the electoral exercise at this juncture.”
J&K Congress compounded the problems for the administration after its senior Congress leader G A Mir on Wednesday announced after the meeting of the core group of state leader in a press conference said.
Civic polls were declared in the state without taking a stock of the situation on the ground. “The Central government and administration should clear their stand in front of the people of J&K whether they want to conduct elections or is it just a gimmick,” Mir said.
Panchayat, Municipal polls: Kashmir Congress says ground situation not conducive for elections
Addressing a press conference after the party’s core group meeting, Mir said the panchayat and municipal polls were declared in the state without taking a stock of the situation on the ground.
''The Central government and administration should clear their stand in front of the people of J&K whether they want to conduct elections or is it just a gimmick,” Mir said.
A JKPCC delegation on September 11 led by Mir had met with Governor Satya Pal Malik and expressed concerns about the upcoming the civic polls.
Sources said the state administration would discuss the situation arising out of the boycott call by major parties with the Centre on whether to hold the election on schedule or not.
The Supreme Court on August 31 deferred the hearing on Article 35 A till January 19, 2019 after additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta, representing the state government told the court that any debate on Article 35A at this juncture would have an impact on the law and order situation in the valley where elections to over 4,500 posts of sarpanch and to 1,145 wards are scheduled. He said if these elections do not take place, then Rs 4,335 crore financial grant would lapse.