EBM News
EBM News

J&K: Congress & PDP won’t contest bypolls; Bukhari to launch new party

SRI NAGAR: Following in the footsteps of the National Conference, the Congress and PDP will not take part in the eight-phase panchayat polls, which will make the election a one-sided contest.  State Congress chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir said the party has decided not to contest the bypolls as many of the leaders are detained and the government is not allowing the leaders, who are free, to move freely.

“The administration is not allowing the ex-ministers, ex-legislators, vice presidents, general secretaries and district presidents to travel in the state. Even those, who are free, are not allowed any kind of political space,” he said. Mir said the party will support those who contest against the BJP.

The eight-phase panchayat polls, beginning March 5, will be held on party basis. It is the first major electoral exercise in J&K after scrapping of special status. Senior PDP leader and former MLC Firdous Tak said the party is not in a position to participate or boycott.

Terming the bypolls as “mere eyewash”, Tak said the Centre and Election Commission are not serious or else they would have first solicited the release of detained mainstream leaders before holding elections.
Even as the old parities are refusing to be a part of the electoral process, influential businessmen, a senior politician and former finance minister Altaf Bukhari is going to launch a new political party later this month. The party will reportedly concentrate on “achievable goals” and moving beyond Article 370.
Ghulam Hassan Mir, the former minister, said the new party will be launched in Srinagar soon. Sources said the new party may be named either ‘Apni Party’ or ‘Aap Ki Party’.

Mir, who was one of the founding members of PDP before floating his outfit, said the new party will not be a Kashmir-based party.