September 30, 2019
The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
The announcement by the Chief Election Commissioner, Jammu & Kashmir of Block Development Council polls in Jammu & Kashmir on October 24, is a travesty of democracy. It is an attempt to portray to the world that “normalcy” prevails when in fact for the last two months there has been an unprecedented clampdown on communications, movement of citizens and continued incarceration of political leaders and activists. The elections to the BDCs in such a situation will be nothing but a sham.
Further, the electoral college for the BDC elections comprises of panches and sarpanches. However over 61 per cent seats of panches and sarpanches are lying vacant, mainly in the 138 blocks in the valley, owing to peoples non participation in the elections which were held in December 2018. It is self evident that before holding BDC polls, the State Election Commission must hold elections to fill these vacant posts.
This entire farcical exercise is planned by the Central Government. Amit Shah, the country’s Home Minister made a simultaneous statement that there are no restrictions in J&K but only in the minds of those who oppose the government. Instead of quoting figures of patients in OPDs or landlines working, he should first answer why internet connections and mobile phones have not been restored, why main bazars and shops remain closed, why schools are not functioning, why attendance in government offices is so poor and why are all leaders still in jail. These are not just restrictions but a continuing assault on democracy. The country’s Home Minister should stop misleading through untruths.
The CPI(M) reiterates its demand for restoration of normalcy, release of all political leaders and activists and elections to be held after the right to political activity is restored.