PDP welcomes deferment of Panchayat bypolls in J&K

SRINAGAR, Feb 19 (Agencies): The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has welcomed the deferment of Panchayat bypolls for over 12,500 vacant panchayat seats in Jammu and Kashmir.
PDP leader Firdous Tak told TNN that holding of Panchayat elections does not amount to restoration of the political process.
He said conducting Panchayat polls at this juncture is a futile exercise.
He alleged that the exercise was meant to give a cake walk to the ruling BJP.
“There is no alternative to political process,” Tak said. “Political Process is not possible until you stop equating dissent with sedition.”
Panchayat bypolls in J&K were deferred after political parties including the PDP and National Conference said the release of the detained leaders was a condition for holding panchayat by polls on party basis.
The notification for the deferment of Panchayat polls has cited the Home Minstry’s advice to the election authority to consider deferring of the conduct of polls based on credible inputs from law enforcement agencies.
Panchayat elections were last held in J&K in 2018 that were boycotted by PDP and NC.
The polls have been announced at a time when three former Chief Ministers — Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti — continue to be under detention since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5. They were first detained under CrPC 107 and 155 and on February 6 the stringent PSA was slapped on Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah.

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