Even as election commission announced panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir, Panthers Party leader Bhim Singh on Thursday slammed the decision and said that these polls were not possible with leaders of major political party leaders in the newly formed Union Territory have been put under detention.
"As most senior political leaders in Kashmir are in detention or are under house arrest in their houses, godown or are in jail, I don't believe any fair kind of election can take place in Jammu and Kashmir," Bhim Singh told ANI.
On the second batch of 25 foreign envoys visiting Kashmir, he said, "The foreigners have been invited to visit Jammu and Kashmir. I want to ask the government about who is paying for the travel of these foreigners."
"The Panthers Party had welcomed the abrogation of Article 370 and we had always opposed article 35A as it was illegal and unconstitutional. However, taking away the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir disheartened me," he added.
Polls in the region are a first since the revocation of Article 370 and splitting the state into two Union territories over six months ago.
Earlier in the day, the state election commission (SEC) had announced that the panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir will be held in eight phases for Kashmir and four phases for Jammu to fill 1011 sarpanch and 1639 panch vacancies.
The poll phases are scheduled to be held on March 5,7, 9, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20.
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