The BJP has finally urged Election Commission to hold assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir and exuded confidence that the party will form next government in the state. Talking to media in Jammu on Monday, senior leader Ram Madhav said that his party looked forward to elections in the state. “We hope, we expect and we demand that assembly elections are held this year,” said Madhav. This is first time that the BJP has expressed itself in favour of the Assembly elections in the state. And which is a good thing. Hopefully, this should help pave way for the long awaited polls in the state. J&K has been under President’s Rule since June last year, when the BJP ended its alliance with the PDP. Last week, parliament approved the extension of President’s Rule for another six months, which will end on January 3 next year
Earlier, the BJP had highlighted the fact that the environment was not conducive for polls in the state and that is why Presidents rule had been perpetuated. This was in keeping with the position of the state administration that didn’t want assembly polls in the near future in view of the ongoing tourist season and the Amarnath Yatra. Earlier too, both state and central governments opposed the idea of concurrent assembly and the Lok Sabha polls. That time, the reason offered was the deteriorating security situation in the state. But certainly if Lok Sabha polls have been held without an incident, the Assembly election too could have been held. More so, when almost all J&K political parties had also unanimously batted for simultaneous elections. So did the people of the state who preferred simultaneous polls for reasons of the sheer amount of disruption the elections trigger in a conflict-ridden state. But the EC chose to ignore both politicians and the public. It is difficult to see why. Apparently there seems no reason or rationale for the EC to have deferred the Assembly polls in the first place. If the deteriorating security situation was the reason, the elections have been held in the state in even worse conditions.
Ideally, the Assembly elections should have been held in right earnest after the Parliament polls. By doing this the EC would have only responded to the public demand in the state. And not doing so has only further deepened the sense of alienation among the people who have been deprived of a government which is responsive to their demands and grievances. Here’s thus hoping that the EC finally does the right thing by announcing the dates for the Assembly polls after the Amarnath yatra.