Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | Our workers being harassed, arrested: NC, PDP accuse J&K administration of enforcing poll boycott

Mehdi took to X to demand immediate release of workers of his party and rival PDP who he claimed have been arrested ahead of the polling.
Last Updated : 12 May 2024, 10:32 IST
Last Updated : 12 May 2024, 10:32 IST

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Srinagar: A day ahead of polls in the Srinagar parliamentary seat, the main contesting parties – National Conference (NC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) – on Sunday accused the Jammu and Kashmir administration of enforcing an election boycott and targeting and harassing their workers.

NC candidate for the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to demand immediate release of workers of his party and rival PDP who he claimed have been arrested ahead of the polling.

“Our workers are being picked up by the police since yesterday. I got a call from a senior colleague like A R Rather sb informing me about the arrests of our workers from Chrarsharif. Similar calls from the colleagues from Khansahab and Chadoora. Would the @ECISVEEP please care to explain these arrests,” Mehdi, an influential Shia leader, posted on X.

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Waheed Parra directly accused senior IPS officer and Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Law and Order, Vijay Kumar of enforcing a poll boycott.

In a post on X, he wrote: “In the past, Kashmir has experienced boycotts at the behest of separatists. Today, we're witnessing a similar scenario, with an IPS officer of ADGP rank, Mr. Vijay Kumar, allegedly directing officials to minimize voter turnout by detaining, harassing our workers. Such actions serve the interests of anti-national elements, not India. @PMOIndia @HMOIndia (sic).”

In another post without naming anyone, Parr said the events are akin to the “rigging” of assembly elections in 1987. The 1987 Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections are widely perceived to have been rigged, with the Farooq Abdullah-led National Conference sweeping the polls.

Earlier on Saturday, PDP President Mehbooba Mufti accused the BJP-led Centre of creating a “political Ikhwan” (a counter insurgent group accused of mass human rights violations) in the Valley, saying, “Preparations are being made to do fraud in the elections. The election is being fixed.”

NC President Farooq Abdullah during a poll campaign of Ruhullah Mehdi alleged harassment by the police.

"I want to tell the Lieutenant-Governor… stop harassing us. The way you are using the police to harass our workers, you think you will win the election this way. You will, God willing, lose the election," he said.

Meanwhile the Election Commission (EC) said it had taken cognizance of “grievances of alleged intimidation of political workers of certain parties and the use of Section 144 order”.

Published 12 May 2024, 10:32 IST

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