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National Conference to contest J&K civic poll

January 11, 2005 18:05 IST

Jammu and Kashmir's main opposition National Conference will contest the forthcoming municipal corporation and civic body elections in the state, party president Omar Abdullah said on Tuesday.

He said that the party does not want to leave the electoral field open for the ruling People's Democratic Party-led coalition.

"Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed and the ruling coalition wanted NC to boycott civic polls so that entire electoral field would be open to the PDP. But now we will fight these civic polls," Abdullah told media persons in Srinagar.

The decision was taken after a day-long party working committee meeting attended by 40 leaders in Srinagar, he said adding that "conditions are hostile to us, still we have decided to take on Mufti Sayeed on the electoral turf."

"We decided not to leave the field open for him. From the security point of view to 'autocracy' by Sayeed, we had all the reasons not to take part in the polls," he said.

Meanwhile, Sayeed welcomed the NC's announcement to contest the civic polls, saying "it is a good development for democracy" in Jammu and Kashmir.

"I welcome the announcement," the Chief Minister told reporters at Jammu University, where he inaugurated a fitness centre, library automation and campus networking facility.

He dismissed as "unfounded" the apprehensions of the NC that the civic polls would be "rigged". There was no basis for having such apprehensions, he said and referred to the recent elections in the state, asserting that the world has "testified to its impartiality and fairness".

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