Block Development Council Polls in J&K a ‘travesty of democracy’: CPI (M)

Polit Bureau of the Communist Party issues a statement against the move

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The Communist Party of India – Marxist (CPI-M) issued a statement on Monday, September 30, 2019 decrying the announcement of the Block Development Council polls in Jammu and Kashmir on October 24. The party said that the announcement was a ‘travesty of democracy’.
In the statement, CPI-M said, “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 continued incarceration of political leaders and activists. The elections to the BDCs in such a situation will be nothing but a sham.”

The party said that the Electoral College for the BDC elections comprises 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.” The party also said that it was evident that the State Election Commission hold elections to fill these vacant posts first.

The party questioned Home Minister Amit Shah’s claims of Jammu and Kashmir not being under any restrictions and that such notions were only of those who opposed the government. It demanded that the government answer why there was a communications blockade and why leaders were in jail.

“These are not just restrictions but a continuing assault on democracy”, the party stated, accusing Shah misleading the country through ‘untruths’.

The party concluded its statement by saying, “The CPI (M) reiterates its demand for restoration of normalcy, release of all political leaders and activists and elections to be held after the right to political activity is restored.”

J&K Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shailendra Kumar declared on Sunday that the BDC elections will be held in 310 blocks on October 24 and the counting of votes will take place the same day.



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