Political parties have already started holding deliberations to chalk out a strategy for the assembly elections that would be held after the completion of delimitation exercise.
By Sunil Bhat
Almost two years since the abrogation of Article 370, the state of Jammu & Kashmir is witnessing hectic political activity these days. Sources say that the Delimitation Commission is likely going to visit the northern state soon to begin the delimitation exercise which was on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Political parties have already started holding deliberations to chalk out a strategy for the assembly elections that would be held after the completion of delimitation exercise. The state is currently under the Lt Governor Manoj Sinha’s rule, who reports to the Union government.
Core group of J&K unit of the BJP met on Monday and discussed many important issues including preparations for the assembly polls. Speaking to India Today, senior BJP leader and former J&K deputy chief minister Kavinder Gupta said that the party has received directions from the high command to start making preparations for the elections.
“Yes, we are ready to face polls. Our high command always tells us to be ready for elections. BJP is the only political party which works 365 days and 24X7. We want Delimitation Commission to complete its exercise as soon as possible. The people of J&K want an elected government,” said Gupta
Echoing Gupta, J&K BJP chief Ravinder Raina also said that the party wants elections to be held in the state. He hoped that the Delimitation Commission would complete its exercise by the end of 2021, following which the Election Commission can announce the poll schedule.
“If all goes well, the Delimitation Commission should complete its work by the end of this year. Then, elections commission has to decide about the election schedule. But, we are ready for elections,” added Ravinder Raina.
Meanwhile, other parties too are holding meetings on the current political scenario in J&K. National Conference’s Working Committee recently met on virtual mode. Many party leaders, particularly from the Jammu division, asked the party leadership to reconsider their stand on Delimitation Commission meetings. They said that the party’s Lok Sabha MPs must participate in the future meetings of the commission.
“Many leaders spoke in favour of attending the delimitation commission’s meetings. We want a delimitation exercise which is meaningful. NC has always been a strong votary of strengthening democracy in J&K. We won’t obstruct any democratic exercise in J&K. We are not a separatist organisation. We want democracy to flourish in J&K,” senior NC leader Devender Rana said.
It is important to mention here that earlier NC MPs had boycotted the Delimitation Commission’s first meeting, held in February this year.
On the other hand, the Congress too has said that it is ready to face the elections, but the party lashed out at the Modi government for downgrading Jammu & Kashmir to a Union Territory.
“People of J&K want a democratically elected government. Delimitation Commission is yet to complete its exercise. Many rumours are doing the rounds. There is an atmosphere of uncertainty in J&K. People have lost faith in the Modi government. J&K was a state, it was arbitrarily downgraded to a Union Territory. As far as elections are concerned, we are ready,” said Ravinder Sharma, chief spokesperson of J&K Congress