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news details
Political parties seek Deferment as militants intensify violence
Panchayat polls in jeopardy again
9/2/2018 11:10:48 PM
Early Times Report

Jammu, Sept 2: Sudden deterioration in the law and order situation in Kashmir just ahead of the announcement of panchayat polls has once again raised a serious question mark on the democratic exercise that has already been delayed for years.
Soon after the polls were announced, the militants stepped up the cycle of violence by carrying out series of attacks and abducting 11 civilians.
Meanwhile, the pro- Pakistan separatist Syed Ali Geelani has already begun fomenting trouble asking people to boycott polls.
Syed Ali Shah Geelani recently asked people to boycott the upcoming local bodies and panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir. "Participation in these elections tantamount to treason with the blood of martyrs. Indian authorities are misleading world community by portraying peoples' participation in elections as a verdict in their favour," Geelani said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the political groups in Kashmir too have sensed the danger and are hinting that the polls should be deferred on security grounds.
National Conference, described the upcoming elections as a superficial "patch-up exercise". The hype around them, it claimed, was "only for public consumption" in the rest of the country. "Elections should be conducted when the situation is conducive," it added.
People's Democratic Party has stated that all parties should have time to work on the ground and calm tempers before polls are held. "There is no political activity on the ground right now and holding elections in the current situation would be counterproductive," the party has said in a statement.
Jammu and Kashmir has been under Governor's rule since the BJP felled its coalition government with the People's Democratic Party in June. The People's Democratic Party is battling an internal rebellion, which it alleges is being orchestrated by the BJP. Rumours have been swirling about the BJP forming a new government with the support of its former ally's rebel legislators.
Though panchayat elections are supposed to be contested outside of party affiliations, the contestants are often, directly or indirectly, affiliated to a party. Campaigns are organised by their respective parties.
Between 2011 and 2015, 10 sarpanch were killed, sparking a raft of resignations. During the protests of 2016, panchayat members also found themselves facing public anger.
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