Congress to Boycott Block Development Council (BDC) Elections 2019 to Protest Against Detention of Jammu and Kashmir Leaders
J&K Congress President Ghulam Ahmad Mir (Photo Credit: ANI)

Srinagar, October 9: The Indian National Congress on Wednesday, October 9, announced that it will boycott the upcoming Block Development Council (BDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir. This move is reportedly due to continued restrictions on some of its senior leaders in the valley. Jammu & Kashmir: BDC Elections to be Held For Institutionalising Panchayati Raj, Announces Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal.

BDC polls are scheduled to be held in Jammu and Kashmir on October 24, 2019. Interestingly, this will be the first elections in the state after its special status was axed under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution on August 5, 2019.

Congress to Boycott BDC Elections

Addressing a press conference, J&K Congress President Ghulam Ahmad Mir said that the Election Commission should have consulted with political parties before announcing the local election dates as several leaders are still under detention. "We've come to realise that these elections (Block Development Council elections) are being held to facilitate only one party - ruling party. Our leaders are under detention. We have no other option but to announce that we are boycotting the election," Mir said.

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Mainstream political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir, including former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, are placed under house arrest since governed revoked provisions of Article 370. The state administration last week said that the leaders would be released in a phased manner.

The last date for filing of nomination is Wednesday, while the scrutiny of nominations will be done on October 10. The last date of withdrawal is October 11. On October 24, the polling is scheduled to held from 9 am to 1 pm. The counting of votes will take place on the same day.