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DDC elections put Gupkar alliance in a dilemma in Jammu and Kashmir

Last Updated on November 7, 2020 at 11:03 pm

The newly formed People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration faces a new challenge. The challenge will be to decide whether to participate or declare a boycott of the  District Development Council (DDC) elections.

On October 17 last month, the Central government amended the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989, through which they set up 14 DDCs in each district. The elections of the first phase will start from November 8.

Earlier this week, state election commissioner KK Sharma held a press conference in which he said that the delimitation exercise which was ongoing has been finished. 280 DDCs with five year terms in the Union Territory have been created.

Other than the DDCs polls, the bypolls for the presently vacant Panchayat seats and urban bodies will also be held with it. All the phases are expected to complete by December 24.

When the alliance between the National Conference, People’s Democratic Party and other five was announced, its main purpose was to restore Article 370 for J&K. Apparently, these elections seem the Centre’s move to dilute Article 370 and the parties in alliance are facing a dilemma whether to contest the elections or not.

CPI (M) is also a part of the alliance. Its leader MY Tarigami said that the parties which form the alliance will discuss the issue of the election in their meeting on November 7 and then will decide whether they will take part in the election or not.

He said that the political parties in J&K have never opposed any decision to strengthen the democratic institutions. He said that they have witnessed the environment which the government has created, so they have to take many things into consideration before coming to any decision.

Political Analyst Noor Muhammad Baba said the election issue has put the alliance in a tight spot. If these political parties contest these elections then it will be a signal that they are accepting the changes made on August 5 last year. And if they boycott the elections, then it will benefit the BJP. It will be a very tough call for the parties in the alliance as they will have to pay a price either way.