The Chief Election Commissioner, Jammu and Kashmir has announced that the block development council polls will be held on October 24.
The CPI(M) said on Monday that the restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir even after the announcement of the block development council polls by the Election Commission were a “travesty of justice” and an attempt to show the world that things were “normal” in the region. The Chief Election Commissioner, Jammu and Kashmir has announced that the block development council polls will be held on October 24.
“It is a travesty of justice. It is an attempt to portray to the world that normalcy prevails when, in fact, for the last two months, there has been an unprecedented clampdown on communications, movement of citizens and a continued incarceration of political leaders and activists. The elections to the BDCs in such a situation will be nothing but a sham,” the Communist Party of India (Marxist) politburo said in a statement, demanding withdrawal of the restrictions in the region.
It also said the electoral college for the BDC polls comprised of panches and sarpanches, but over 61 per cent of their seats were lying vacant. “Mainly in the 138 blocks in the valley, owing to people’s non-participation in the elections which were held in December, 2018. It is self-evident that before holding the BDC polls, the State Election Commission must hold elections to fill these vacant posts.
“This entire farcical exercise is planned by the central government. Amit Shah, the country’s Home Minister, made a simultaneous statement that there are no restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir, but only in the minds of those who oppose the government,” the statement issued by the Left party said.
It also said that instead of quoting figures of patients in OPDs or functional landlines, Shah should first answer why internet connections and mobile services were not restored, why the main bazars and shops in the valley remained closed, why the schools were not functioning, why the attendance in government offices was so poor and why leaders of mainstream political parties were still in jail.
“These are not just restrictions, but a continuing assault on democracy. The country’s Home Minister should stop misleading through untruths. The CPI(M) reiterates its demand for restoration of normalcy, release of all political leaders and activists and that elections be held after the right to political activity is restored,” the statement said.