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Srinagar: National Conference will contest Panchayat election

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Ground Report, Srinagar | The National Conference (NC) is also set to enter the field of the panchayat by-election, but the party has placed a condition that its leaders be released. 

The NC says that leaders should be released to speed up preparations for elections. This time, in the panchayat by-elections in Jammu and Kashmir, the parties can field candidates on their election symbol. This will be the first time in the last 70 years that the candidates will go to the voters with their party’s election symbol in the panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir. 

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Elections for the vacant 1011 sarpanch and 11639 panch positions in Jammu and Kashmir will begin on March 5. Elections are not being held for the vacant Panch-Sarpanch circles in Ladakh right now. With the first phase notification, the state BJP has started campaigning. While PDP is silent. 
Meanwhile, the National Conference NC central secretary Rattan Lal Gupta  has written a letter to Chief Electoral Officer Shailendra Kumar that the party is ready to contest the elections, but it is necessary to remove obstacles. NC Prime Minister Farooq Abdullah, Deputy Prime Minister Omar Abdullah and Ali Mohammad Sagar are in custody under PSA.
Citing the custody of these leaders, Ratan Lal has written that such hurdles should be removed for campaigning. 

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He has sought advice from the Chief Electoral Officer to explain how the obstacles coming in the way of elections can be overcome. How will the candidates be selected until the senior leaders are released.

However, for a genuine political exercise to happen, it is important that the mainstream political thought, which is a unifying force, is allowed to freely propagate and demonstrate its ideology,” he said in the letter and added that a political ecosystem needs to be ensured so that the democratic institutions become genuine and credible reflectors of the people’s aspirations.

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Gupta asked the CEO to advice the party on how these roadblocks that have been placed in the way of its participation can be overcome.
“If the aim is to create conditions to exclude all other parties except the BJP, then nothing more needs to be said but if the aim is to create a genuine culture of grassroots democracy, then the process adopted is a deeply flawed one,” he wrote.

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A copy of the letter has also been sent to the Chief Election Commissioner.2G Internet will continue. After a brief undoing of the 2G internet in the Kashmir Valley, it has now been extended. The service will continue till February 24, an official said.

However, social media cannot be used during this time. Since the announcement of the Union Territory to Jammu and Kashmir, internet service in the Valley of Kashmir was discontinued and 2G service has been started from January 1.