Early Times Report
Jammu, Feb 17: Fearing that party would lose its cadre at grass-root level for repeatedly boycotting Panchayats and Urban Local Bodies elections, National Conference is looking for “escape route” to participating in ongoing Panchayat by-elections. NC leadership, sources said, is facing pressure from the grass-root level workers to join electoral battle otherwise they would shift loyalty to some other main stream party.
Credible sources said that it was all due to pressure of local level workers that party had written a letter to the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Ladakh and J&K in which party leadership dropped hinted to participate in the ongoing polls. Letter written by party leadership to CEO was an indication that leaders were looking for “escape route” to join election process. There is a feeling, sources said, among workers that instead of behaving like a mainstream party NC is working like a separatist group and most of the workers, especially of Jammu province are feeling suffocated.
As reported in a section of media, NC in its letter dropped hints to contest elections.
“J&K National Conference, which is a strong votary of democratic process, wishes to participate, it is practically impossible for the party in view of the fact that the top leadership including its president Dr Farooq Abdullah, vice president Omar Abdullah and general secretary, All Mohammad Sagar are under detention under Public Safety Act. Various other senior leaders are also under detention in Kashmir and so the process of selecting candidates, giving mandates and campaigning under the given circumstances is impossible”, NC leader Rattan Lal Gupta stated in the letter, and mentioned, “We reiterate our commitment to strengthen democracy at grass root level. However for a genuine political exercise to happen, it is important that the mainstream political thought, which is a unifying force, is allowed to freely propagate and demonstrate its ideology. For this to happen, a political ecosystem has to be developed to ensure that the democratic institutions, for which elected members are elected, become genuine and credible reflectors of the peoples' aspirations”.
NC had boycotted the Block Development Councils (BDCs) held on the party basis. The NC had also boycotted Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) elections held in the month of October 2019.