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NC, PDP never wanted Panchayat, BDC polls in J-K: Singh

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Press Trust of India Jammu
Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Monday claimed the Congress, National Conference (NC) and PDP have never wanted to hold Panchayat and Block Development Council (BDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir even though they always "hoodwinked" the people in the name of fanciful slogans like "autonomy" and "self-rule".
Addressing a rally here, Singh lauded the announcement for conducting BDC elections next month that will give an opportunity to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to express their democratic aspirations, in much the same manner as in the rest of the country.
The minister alleged Kashmir-centric political parties had always put a stumbling block against genuine grassroot democracy in Jammu and Kashmir.
"The hollow claims of autonomy made by the National Conference stood exposed on the day it decided to boycott the Panchayat elections and also tried to dissuade people from participating in it," he said.
Similarly, Singh said, the self-righteous agenda of "self-rule" put across by the PDP also stood exposed, when it boycotted the Panchayat elections.
He said 40,000 sarpanchs and panchs were elected when Panchayat polls were held last year.
It is the right time for the people to ask whether it is "autonomy for the self" or "rule by the self" that these political parties have been promoting in order to continue their dynastic rule, he said.
He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to strengthen grass root democracy in Jammu and Kashmir and it was during the Governor's rule that the Panchayat election was held and not a single incident of violence took place.
Now, close on the heels, the BDC elections are going to be held, as a follow, he said.
Referring to the first 100 days of the Modi government in its second term, Singh said the abrogation of Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, has been the biggest achievement.
The Jammu and Kashmir Election Authority on Sunday announced the poll schedule for the election of chairpersons of Block Development Councils (BDC) in the 310 blocks of Jammu and Kashmir.
The polling will be held on October 24.
The elections will be held on party basis and 26,629 panchs and sarpanchs are eligible to vote and contest for the post of BDC chairpersons.

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First Published: Sep 30 2019 | 8:50 PM IST

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