Member parties of People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration in J&K allege candidates for DDC polls are being kept at “secure locations” by the administration to keep them from campaigning freely.
File photo of Gupkar alliance signatories Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah and Farooq Abdullah (Photo Credits: PTI)
Member parties of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration in Jammu and Kashmir have alleged that their candidates for the upcoming District Development Council (DDC) elections are being kept at “secure locations” by the administration to keep them from campaigning freely.
They have also alleged that the BJP and its allies have been given security and facilities to campaign. They said this was an attempt to deny the level-playing field to anti-BJP parties.
“They are denying our candidates a chance to campaign. They keep them in hotels or other accommodations, while the BJP and its allies get all facilities and security,” said Nasir Aslam Wani of the National Conference.
Rayees Ahmad, associated with the National Conference and a candidate for the DDC polls from Khag, said he couldn’t go to campaigning as he was kept in a hotel in Srinagar. “Today, they told us we can go around noon. I have to go to my area and be back by 4 pm. How will I campaign?” he asked.
Security forces, however, said the decision of keeping DDC candidates at “secure locations” was based on threat perception.
“Not every candidate can be given individual security. They have been kept at secure locations. When they go for campaigning, we provide them escorts and make sure that they are secure,” said Vijay Kumar, IGP, J&K Police, Kashmir.
The BJP rubbished the charge. “They are campaigning like our candidates. This is a baseless allegation,” said BJP leader Rashida Mir.
The DDC election is the first electoral exercise in J&K after the abrogation of Article 370. The fight is essentially between the BJP and the member parties, including the National Conference and the PDP, of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration.