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PDP to contest J&K assembly poll

Source: PTI
October 28, 2008 16:27 IST
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After remaining silent for over a week on its participation in the Jammu and Kashmir assembly polls, the People's Democratic Party on Tuesday said it would take part in the elections, but refrained from announcing alliances with any political party.

Releasing the party manifesto, which talks of resolution of Kashmir issue on the lines of its "self-rule" formula, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti made it clear that her party was jumping into the poll bandwagon, but wished that the Centre should have initiated a "serious dialogue" with all sections in the Kashmir Valley before holding elections.

Justifying the decision to contest the elections amid boycott calls from some party leaders, Mehbooba argued that "staying away" will help "some political parties" trying to subvert the people's right to choose their representatives.

"If PDP stays away from the elections, we are going to facilitate the agenda of these parties of undermining the people's authority to elect their representatives. It is a challenge for our party and we accept it," she told reporters.

The PDP president also played the Jammu versus Kashmir card, saying that if the Centre could launch an initiative about the agitation in Jammu "we expected something similar to be done in the Valley as well."

"We wanted a serious dialogue to be initiated by Centre with all shades of opinion in the Valley including separatists before holding polls... Polls were not a priority," she said.

Asked if her party will enter into alliance in the assembly polls, she said there was no need for such an arrangement at the moment. "People of the state will decide whether there is need for an alliance or not."

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