Restore Article 370, our party doesn’t demand statehood: PDP leader

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Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Tuesday demanded the restoration of pre-August 4, 2019 status of Jammu and Kashmir, saying that the centre before holding elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

PDP General Secretary, Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura said that his party does not demand Statehood but wants the special constitutional position of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 to be restored in its original form, reported a local news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO).

“Our party has never demanded Statehood. We want the centre to return what was snatched away from us on August 5, 2019. Holding elections under prevailing circumstances would be a futile exercise,” Mr. Hanjura told reporters here.

The PDP leader claimed that the centre after abrogating Articles 370 and 35A created an atmosphere of intimidation in Jammu and Kashmir and attempted to muzzle every political party including Congress, PDP, NC and others.

He said that his party would only be able to take call on participating in elections once its incarcerated President would be released. “Our party President is yet to be released so how is it possible for us to participate in elections under such circumstances, we are not even being allowed to meet our President. We had moved an application to allow us to meet Mehbooba Ji but were not allowed,” he added.

Mr. Hanjura further said the PDP would only be able to ponder on contesting elections when its President is set free from house detention. He said the party’s core committee would take a call only after its President is released.

“You can see only BJP can hold rallies and do political activities while the rest of the regional political parties stand restricted. As far as the Defense Minister’s statement of holding elections in J&K is concerned it’s a welcome step but at the same time I want to question whether it is practicable to go for political process under such circumstances,” Hanjura said—(KNO)

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