On Wednesday, Congress announced that it will not participate in the Block Development Council (BDC) elections of Jammu and Kashmir.
The local polls will be held on October 24, and the results will be announced on the same day.
Earlier, National Conference (NC) had said it would boycott the polls as its senior leaders- Farooq and Omar Abdullah, are under detention.
Congress objected to Centre's decision of revoking Article 370
The local polls are the first ones being held after the massive decision of August.
Two months ago, the BJP-led Centre abrogated Article 370 and withdrew the special status accorded to J&K. The border state was also bifurcated into two UTs- namely Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
Congress opposed the decision saying no government can change the status of J&K.
What are the BDC elections?
BDC elections are the second tier of the Panchayati Raj system and will be held on a party basis.
310 blocks of J&K will go to polls. Reportedly, 26,629 panchs, as well as sarpanchs, are eligible to vote and contest for the post of BDC chairpersons.
As of now, nearly 12,766 posts of panchs and sarpanchs are vacant due to various reasons.
Leaders under detention, can't participate in polls: Congress
Announcing the decision, the party's Ghulam Ahmad Mir said BDC polls are being held to favor only one party- the ruling BJP.
"Our leaders are under detention. We have no other option but to announce that we are boycotting the election," Mir told media.
Interestingly, the last date of filing nominations was today and Congress pulled out of the contest on the same day.
Earlier, Azad called BDC elections a mockery of democracy
In fact, last month, Congress' Ghulam Nabi Azad dismissed the elections calling it nothing but a mockery of democracy.
"The BDC elections have been announced at the time when leaders of all political parties apart from the BJP, are locked up. They have either been put under house arrest or detained in guest houses or jails," the former Chief Minister of the state said.
Meanwhile, BJP is all poised to participate in polls
While parties are boycotting elections, BJP is all ready for the battle.
BJP state president Ravinder Raina said, "We have decided to fight the BDC elections from 280 seats in Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh. We have finalized the list of our candidates and are hopeful of a clean sweep in the elections."
He revealed BJP will be supporting independent candidates in the remaining seats.