Hurriyat Plays Poll Boycott Tune Again

Doing a volte face on its last week’s decision, the modest faction of the Hurriyat Conference changed its mind not to call for a poll boycott in J&K and have now asked the people to abstain voting. The reversal on stand has come off following a fresh meeting of working committee of the separatist amalgam.

“Election is no substitute to the wishes of the people of Kashmir. We will boycott the elections till Kashmir issue is resolved,” said Hurriyat chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq after the meeting. The working committee had only last week announced that it would not call for a poll boycott for the first time after 15 years.

It may be mentioned that in his April 16 statement, Maulvi Mohammad Abbas Ansari, who was the acting chairman of the Hurriyat in the Mirwaiz’s absence, had invited a blunt reaction from PoK-based United Jehad Council, an amalgam of 13 militant outfits which had called for boycott of the elections.

For re-discussion on the issue, the fresh meeting of the working committee was convened by Mirwaiz following opposition of Ansari’s statement from Hurriyat’s 23 constituents, including Democratic Front led by Shabbir Shah, National Front and People’s Political Front headed by Fazl Haq Qureshi. Mirwaiz, who was undergoing treatment in Delhi, cut short his stay to call the meeting.

The Mirwaiz requested people not to take part in poll process and said they will soon start their anti-election campaign.

Despite a similar boycott call by separatists, a record turn out was witnessed during the Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir last year.

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