Hardline Hurriyat Conference on Monday asked people to boycott the upcoming elections in Kashmir. By-elections are due in two Lok Sabha constituencies of Anantnag and Srinagar.
In a statement, a spokesman of the conglomerate said, "Hurriyat chairman (Syed Ali Shah Geelani) urged people to boycott upcoming elections saying that it provides Indian leadership opportunity to mislead world community."
Voters in Kashmir have defied similar boycott calls in the past. The 2014 Assembly election saw a record over 65 per cent voter turnout in the state. Geelani said "enacting election dramas would not serve any purpose" and said India's approach was "unrealistic". He was addressing over phone the people who were taking part in funeral of Hizbul Mujahideen militant killed in Tral on Sunday.
Anantnag Lok Sabha seat was vacated by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti following her election to the legislative assembly in June last year while Srinagar seat fell vacant after incumbent Tariq Hameed Karra resigned from Lok Sabha as well as PDP.
Karra had resigned last year to protest against the civilian deaths during the summer unrest. The state government is planning to hold panchayat elections this year but so far, no official notification has been issued to this effect.