NC links participation in upcoming polls to clearing of stand by GoI on Art 35A

Srinagar, Sep 5: National Conference on Wednesday announced to boycott upcoming polls to Urban Local Bodies and Panchayats unless New Delhi and state government disclose stand regarding Article 35A, the provision in the  Indian constitution which has been challenged before the Supreme Court of India in at least five petitions.

Addressing reporters here, Farooq said that the decision to conduct election to Urban Local Bodies and Panchayats was taken in a hurried manner without taking into consideration the prevailing security situation “created by the powers that be by unnecessarily fiddling with Article 35A”.

“The core group had a detailed discussion about the situation in the state with special reference to the Article 35A of the constitution and it was felt that any tinkering with Article 35A would prove disastrous, not only for our state but for the entire country,” Farooq, the former three-time chief minister said.

“The role of the central government and present dispensation in the J&K before the Supreme Court was clearly against the wishes and aspiration of the people the state. They conveniently ignored that this provision was incorporated in the constitution after thorough discussion with that state government and government of India and was made part of the Delhi agreement 1952. It was also approved by the state constituent assembly under Article 370 of the constitution,” said Farooq who was flanked by party senior leaders including General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar and party senior leader and former finace minister Abdul Rahim Rather.

“It was resolved that the National Conference would fight tooth and nail all sinister designs aimed at interfering with the constitutional guarantee in any manner whatsoever. Such attempts if allowed does strike at very basis of the relationship between the state and the union(GOI),” Farooq added.

He said recently announced Urban Local Body polls and panchayat elections came under discussion at the party’s core group meeting.

“The core group felt that this decision was taken in a hurried manner without taking into consideration the prevailing security situation created by the powers that be by unnecessarily fiddling with Article 35A,” he said, adding, “The core group unanimously decided that the National Conference will not participate in these elections unless & until, the Government of India & the state government clears its position on Article 35A and takes effective steps for the protection of Article 35 A in and outside the court.”

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