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Don’t mislead people in the name of Art 370, Statehood: JKAP to NC, PDP

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Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) Thursday criticized National conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for misleading people in the name ‘election boycott’, saying the political process must continue till Article 370 and Statehood is ‘restored’ in its original form.

Talking to reporters, JKAP Vice-President, Zaffar Iqbal Manhas, said the two parties including PDP and NC cannot make people wait for restoration of the special constitutional position of Jammu and Kashmir by forcing them to boycott elections.

He said since the delimitation process is on, elections may not be conducted for next five to six months in Jammu and Kashmir. Manhas, without naming NC or PDP, said those who mislead people in the name of election boycott should bear in mind that freedom or Article 370 and statehood cannot be achieved by staying away from the political process.

“Let’s see who would contest elections and who boycott, we would really appreciate and support anyone who brings Article 370 and statehood back. But that does not mean, we will make people wait and suffer till Azadi is achieved or Article 370 and statehood is restored,” JKAP leader added.Manhas said restoration of special constitutional position cannot be the precondition for any political party to contest elections in Jammu and Kashmir as the matter sub-judice is pending disposal in the highest judiciary of India.

He said the JKAP’s stand on Article 370 is clear and if any party thinks announcing election boycott can bring the special position of Jammu and Kashmir back, it welcomes the same.

“We cannot wait for Article 370 and statehood for next twenty years to restore. Omar Abdullah is on record to say that expecting restoration of special status of J&K from BJP is futile. Then how could they make it a precondition for elections, our people join the army, police, serve government departments, isn’t this part of the system, we oppose,” he added.

He alleged that some political parties follow Hurriyat Conference which was also asking people to refrain being part of any political process.

“Hurriyat was also asking people to boycott elections and the results are before you.

If any political party wants to boycott elections, try to adopt it on ground without fielding proxy candidates like they did in Panchayat and ULB elections,” Manhas said.