J-K panchayat polls: PDP wants consultation on Article 35A

Srinagar: People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Rafi Ahmad Mir on Thursday asked Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik to address issues related to Article 35A. Mir said his party wants wider consultations on various issues including 35 A before going for the upcoming panchayat and urban local bodies polls in the state.

National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah had on Wednesday said that his party will not participate in the polls until the “Government of India and the state government make their position clear on Article 35A inside and outside the court.”

Maintaining suspence over PDP’s decision, Mir after a core group meeting of the party earlier today, told media, “We are not in competition with them (National Conference), but we have genuine concern. There is mix-up of issues, due to (Article) 35A, which we are not in favour of. We want Governor to address this and other election related issues after which we will take decision.”

“It will take some time. We are for a consultative mechanism, not within PDP only, but rest of the things also. We also have to look at our cadre base and people. We are not here to spoil the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, we don’t want bloodshed here. But we are the main political party. We have always participated in election. We should not be seen running away from election. We are going to participate. We will take a final call and share with you,” he added.

Mir’s comments come days after the Supreme Court deferred, untill January 2019, the hearing on a clutch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35A.

Article 35A disallows people from residing in Jammu and Kashmir, buying or owning immovable property in the state, settling permanently, or getting state government jobs.