Seeks security for candidates, free-and-fair elections
Don’t want to run away from responsibilities: Mir
A day after meeting the party high command in New Delhi, the state Congress has decided to contest upcoming civil polls albeit with the condition that the elections will be held in a free and fair atmosphere and its candidates will be provided security.
Addressing a press conference here at party headquarters, state Congress president, G A Mir said they decided to go ahead with the polls after deliberating the issue with the party high command in New Delhi.
“We have set the conditions of providing security to the contesting candidates and creation of peaceful atmosphere before the Governor on that basis we decided to contest polls,” Mir said, adding that “Congress doesn’t want to run away from the responsibilities.”
Congress president said holding civic polls in the state is not just a one- day exercise. “The state has to bear the consequences for next five years. So Congress party will utilise its energy to defeat the communal forces and fight with full might,” he said.
Mir said that boycott by two mainstream parties could be a “conspiracy to pave way for communal forces”.
“All parties should participate in the polls. Half a dozen parties have boycotted the election, which I feel could be a conspiracy to have a deal with the communal forces by allowing them to take the charge of institutions at grass root level,” he said.
Congress president said the party previously apprised the Governor's office of the security concerns, especially in the valley.
“Election Commission and Governor led administration issued a contradictory statement over the security issue. Considering the bitter experience of previously held Parliamentary polls we put up the conditions of providing security to the contesting candidates, creation of peaceful atmosphere and ensuring free and fair election,” he said.
"We sent three delegations to the Governor right from the time he took over the reins of the state to convey our concerns but they are not being addressed yet," Mir said.
He said Congress will weigh the situation ahead and commitment made by the Governor to ensure the free and fair election in the state.
“Our party won’t hesitate to take any other decision if the Governor led administration fails to fulfil all its commitments,” he said.
“On these conditions, Congress will attempt to keep away RSS and BJP from entering these democratic institutions. We won’t allow them to succeed in their plans, which are made far away in Nagpur,” Mir added.
The state Congress president said their decision to take part in the election will ensure the releasing and utilisation of funds for the development of towns and cities.
“The delay in these elections has resulted in the lapse of funds from Centre, which are meant for development of towns and municipal committees. So we want to be at the front for the development of the state,” he said.
The state Congress president said the party will work to safeguard Article 35-A if it comes to power.
“There are certain sections of people in our state who have some concerns. If Congress is voted to power, we will build consensus to address the concerns as per legislation of the state. We will safeguard Article 35A,” he said.
Recently, National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party announced boycott of the elections. The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) has also decided to stay away from the polls.
While municipal elections for the two corporations of Srinagar and Jammu and 77 municipal committees will be conducted from October 8, the panchayat polls across the state are scheduled to be held in nine phases starting from November 17.