New Delhi: Shafiq Mir, the president of All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference, on Wednesday said that the main political parties in Jammu and Kashmir like National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) boycotted the recently-held Panchayat elections because they do not want to share the power at grass-root level.
Addressing a press conference after a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi here, Mir said, “Kashmir has a silent majority and that silent majority has shown today what it wants. Kashmir should not be only seen in the backdrop of stray incidences. The Kashmir’s silent majority wants democracy.”
“Not only the separatist forces but also the leading and main political parties like National Conference and PDP have boycotted and not campaigned in Panchayat elections. NC and PDP don’t want to share the power at ground level and hence were against the elections,” he added.
He further said that despite of all the odds and boycott call given by the main political parties, several people participated in the Panchayat elections that saw an overall voter turnout of 74 percent.
Mir asserted that it was the efforts of vigorous campaign that large number of people of the state participated in Panchayat elections. “For the last two years we have been campaigning in every nook and corner of Jammu and Kashmir, telling people that Panchayat is not a political institution but is a institution for the development of villages,” he added.
Cornering the previous state governments, he said that they did not want Panchayat elections and thus delayed it citing apprehensions of violence.
A delegation of 48 newly-elected sarpanches of panchayats from Jammu and Kashmir called on Prime Minister Modi earlier today.
The delegation, led by Mir, conveyed its appreciation to the Prime Minister for empowering the institutions of local self-governance through the successful and peaceful conduct of Panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
After a long gap of seven years, the Panchayat elections in the state were held in nine phases in November and December.