Divided Sarpanchs, Panchs stage high drama

2 groups announce candidates, others side with Govt

LC POLLS

ABID BASHIR

Srinagar, Nov 14: The disgruntled Sarpanchs and Panchs Wednesday staged a high drama over the elections of four Legislative Council seats with two groups announcing separate candidates for all four seats and the third faction extending support to the Government nominated candidates with certain riders.
 A group under the banner of J&K Sarpanch Panchs United Forum (JKSPUF) led by Khurshid Malik accused the legislators of all political parties of sabotaging the devolution of powers to Panchayat members.
 Addressing media men here, Malik said the legislators of all parties including National Conference, PDP and Congress played negative role and deceived the Sarpanchs and Panchs.
 “The politicians used us as tools and made us scapegoats for their own benefits,” he said. “They felt as if we are snatching their powers. They even tried to bring a bill in the Assembly seeking separate powers.”
  Ruling out security cover for the Panchayat representatives, Malik said four major organizations of Sarpanchs and Panchs have formed an amalgam under JKSPUF. “We don’t need security as we don’t want to give an impression to our voters that we are different from them. We want to remain available for our people,” he said.
 He said the four LC seats belong to Panchyat quota and they won’t allow the government to steal the rights of already dejected Sarpanchs and Panchs. “It is after more than 30 years that we will be having our own representatives in the LC. We have decided to field our own candidates. I will contest from Kashmir along with my colleagues, Advocate Ghulam Hassan Bhat, Aijaz Ahmed Mir and Sheikh Ashiq Hussain. Of these, two will be covering candidates,” said Malik.
 At the same time, another faction of Sarpanchs and Panchs claiming to be part of All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC), led by Ghulam Din Gulshan said they too have decided to field their own candidates. “Besides me, our candidates are Fazal Hussain Khan from Jammu and Ghulam Nabi Dar from South Kashmir,” said Gulshan. “The discussions are on for the fourth seat.”
 Surprisingly, another faction claiming to be real JKSPUF announced full support to ruling NC-Congress coalition. “I am the real founder of JKSPUF. I was the first to form the united front of Sarpanch and Panchs,” said Ghulam Nabi Mir, who claimed to be chief patron of JKSPUF.  He said Chief Minister Omar Abdullah spoke to him on phone and urged them not to boycott the LC polls. “The Chief Minister promised us that our all issues would be addressed and that we should not field candidates for LC seats,” Mir said. “We have decided to agree with the Chief Minister and to give the government a chance to resolve all problems of Sarpanchs and Panchs.”
 He said they would not field the candidates for four LC seats and instead see how government nominated candidates would raise the issues Sarpanchs and Panchs. The elections for the four LC seats are slated for December 3 and results would be declared on December 8. 

Lastupdate on : Wed, 14 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 14 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 15 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST




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