Former IAS officer Shah Faesal announced that his recently formed party, Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement (JKPM), won’t be contesting in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, but asked the people to vote in large numbers for electing the "right candidates".
Faesal had first come into limelight after becoming the first Kashmiri to top the UPSC civil services exam in 2009 but quit the IAS and started his political career in 2019.
He claimed that the main reason for not contesting the polls was to focus more on the mass contact programme as the party is still in the infancy stages. He also clarified that this was also a response for the allegations of his party being stooges of the Centre for dividing votes in the upcoming elections.
He also said that it will be discussed in due course of time as to which party or candidates the party will support. However, he urged people to come out in large numbers to participate in the democratic process.
"Whether there is boycott or not, elections will be held and people will be elected to Parliament. So, people should take part in the democratic process so that the right candidates are elected," he added.
Referring to his party's stand on the challenge to Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution of India, he said that they stood for the protection of these provisions, which give special status to J&K.
Lastly, Faesal condemned the recent deaths of a school teacher allegedly in police custody and of a 12-year-old boy by militants after being taken hostage during an encounter in Hajin area of Bandipora district. He urged that the erring police officials should be arrested and tried and spoke against the violation of humans rights of civilians.