Congress dithers on poll decision, seeks more clarity from state

The Congress on Wednesday said the administration should “clear its intention” over conducting the municipal elections while alleging that an announcement had been made just to “test the ground”.

The party said the Election Commission should issue a notice first and then it would announce whether to participate or not.

“We want to strengthen the democratic process but there is chaos in the administration… we feel the announcement has been made just to test the ground. The administration should clear its intentions, let the Election Commission come up with a clear notice, then we will take a decision whether to participate in the poll or not,” J&K Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) president GA Mir said while addressing a press conference.

He made the comments when asked if the Congress was ready to fight the urban local bodies election.
Even as the Congress had on Tuesday held a meeting to decide on participation in the election, the party held another emergency meeting in the morning after “some developments” overnight. “Some developments have happened since the last night… there is a lot of confusion over the issue of conduct of the election. The stand of the state on the issue seems to be fluctuating with every passing hour. We have called on the Governor twice in the past 10 days. We also met him on Tuesday. We had raised certain question on the preparations for the poll, but the concerns have not been addressed,” Mir said while adding that the Governor-led administration was “politically guided”.

“We want it to clear the confusion and come out with its stand on whether to conduct the poll or not. We will also send a few senior leaders to Delhi to brief our party’s central leadership about the issue as Jammu and Kashmir is a sensitive state,” he added.

When asked if the situation was conducive for conducting the election, Mir said: “Even a blind person will tell you that the situation is not fit for it, (but) they have to ensure security.” However, he further said the Congress did not want to confine itself to mere announcements on whether or not to participate as it was were answerable to the “nation as well as state”.

Senior Congress leader Tariq Hamid Karra alleged that the administration had intentions of deferring the election and it would take a “responsible decision” once the confusion was cleared.

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