Farooq Abdullah
National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah (File Picture)IANS File Photo

Jammu and Kashmir National Conference has said that it will boycott the local body and panchayat polls in the state unless the union government takes effective steps towards protecting Article 35-A.

"The core group (of NC) unanimously decided that the National Conference will not participate in these elections unless and until the government of India and the state government clarify their positions in this regard and take effective steps for protection of Article 35-A in and outside the courts," PTI quoted party chief Farooq Abdullah as saying. 

Abdullah said the state administration's decision to hold urban local body polls and panchayat elections was taken in a "hurried manner" and without considering the situation that prevails as far as the Article 35-A is concerned.

He also said that those in power were unnecessarily fiddling with the Article 35-A. "It was felt that any tinkering with Article 35-A would prove disastrous not only for our state but for the entire country," he said adding that the party's core group had a detailed discussion about the situation in the state with regards to the Article 35-A.

Last week, the Jammu and Kashmir government had announced the schedule for holding elections to local bodies and panchayats in the state. While the urban local body polls will be held in October, the Panchayat elections are slated for November-December this year. 

The NC President further said that the state and central governments' stance before the Supreme Court was clearly against the wishes and aspirations of the people of the state. "They conveniently ignore that this provision was incorporated in the Constitution after thorough discussion between the then state government and the Government of India and was made part of the Delhi Agreement 1952," Abdullah said. 

(With PTI inputs)