NEW DELHI Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said it is for the Election Commission of India (EC) to decide when to hold Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, which is currently under President’s rule.
Responding to a media query, Rajnath Singh said since elections for Panchayat and urban local bodies have been successfully concluded, the atmosphere in the state is conducive for Assembly elections as well.
“Why can’t elections take place in J&K? But the decision has to be taken by the Election Commission,” he said.
Exercising its powers under Article 356 of the Constitution, the Centre on December 19 last year had imposed President’s rule in J&K.
Earlier in the day, the Home Minister moved a resolution for the Upper House to ratify the proclamation of President’s rule.
He said that the President’s rule could last for six months and the Centre has no plans to extend it any further. “Hence, the Election Commission needs to make arrangements for Assembly polls in the state during this period.”
The state Assembly was kept under suspended animation under the Governor’s rule after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ended its alliance with Mehbooba Mufti’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and withdrew its support to her government.
It is third time that the state has come under President’s rule since Independence.
All the regional parties in the state as well as the Congress have been calling for Assembly elections “at the earliest”.
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