The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
Withdraw Restrictions in Jammu & Kashmir
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
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.