Ram Madhav, BJP national general secretary, on Friday said like separatists and terror groups, activists of the PDP and the National Conference (NC) were also intimidating candidates filing nominations for the civic bodies elections in the Valley.
“We have received information from different parts of Kashmir that PDP and NC workers have threatened BJP activists who filed nominations for the civic bodies elections,” Madhav, who was in Srinagar on Thursday, told mediapersons here. “We have already lodged complaints with the police in this regard and investigation has been initiated,” he said.
Coming down heavily on both the mainstream parties for creating hurdles in strengthening democratic institutions at the grassroots level, Madhav said the leadership of the PDP and NC had brazenly tried to get the urban local bodies and panchayats elections cancelled through “pressure tactics”.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his Independence Day address, had promised to conduct the panchayat and urban local bodies elections in the state,” he said, and maintained that the present dispensation in the state had fulfilled that commitment by initiating the election process. Ridiculing the decisions of the PDP and the NC for boycotting the elections to “save” Article 35A, he said the matter was sub judice for the last four years and both the parties had participated in the recently held elections of the Kargil Council in which the NC emerged victorious. He said BJP’s stand on Article 35A was very much clear.
Reiterating the commitment of the BJP in strengthening the grassroots level democracy in J&K by empowering people at the village level, Madhav said an inordinate delay in conducting the panchayat and urban local bodies elections was one of the reasons for dumping the PDP. “We tried our best to extend the 73rd and 74th amendments of the Indian Constitution with full spirit, but our erstwhile coalition partner created hurdles,” he claimed.
Madhav further said the BJP had fielded candidates from the majority of wards in Kashmir for the civic bodies polls. “Barring some wards of south Kashmir, BJP candidates are contesting elections on almost all civic bodies of the Valley,” he added.