CM should helm all-party meet on panchayat polls: J-K Cong

Jammu, Jan 31  Jammu and Kashmir Congress chief G A Mir today demanded that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti should helm the proposed all-party meet ahead of the panchayat polls, two days after the state government decided to hold such a meet.

“If the government is sincere about the discussion regarding holding of panchayat elections, we propose that the all-party meeting should be chaired by the chief minister, as she is also having the charge of home ministry as well as the election department,” Mir said, while addressing a rally in Poonch district.

On Monday, the government had said Abdul Haq Khan, the state rural development minister, would hold an all-party meeting to take all political parties into confidence before taking a final call on the panchayat elections.

Mufti had earlier announced holding the elections from February 15.

Welcoming over a dozen persons, including six sarpanches, into the party at the rally, the Congress leader hit out at the Modi government’s approach towards Pakistan and Kashmir.

“During the United Progressive Alliance regime, headed by Manmohan Singh, there was comparative calm on the Line of Control (LoC) because of experienced and mature leadership.

“However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had exploited the countrymen describing the UPA government as weak, but now, the situation on the border has worsened, as also in Kashmir,” the state Congress president alleged.

The Pakistani firing has become a routine affair and the people and jawans along the borders are paying the price, he added.

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