Govt ready for assembly polls in JK, EC to take final call: Rajnath

Azad says ‘Guv amending law after BJP failed to engineer defections in NC, PDP, Cong’

Govt ready for assembly polls in JK, EC to take final call: Rajnath

New Delhi: More than a month after the Assembly was dissolved in Jammu and Kashmir, in November, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh informed the Rajya Sabha that the Centre was on board with elections being held in the state.
Even as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) withdrew support to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) last year in June, and Governor’s rule now prevails in the state, the conduct of free and fair elections amid unrest in the valley will pose a monumental challenge not just to the Election Commission but to the Union home ministry as well.
Parliament on Thursday adopted the resolution under Article 356 of the Constitution that proclaims Governor’s rule in the state.
Responding to a discussion in the Rajya Sabha on the statutory resolution on proclamation issued by President in relation to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 356 of the Constitution, Singh said, “The Election Commission is responsible for conduct of polls. The Centre is ready to provide maximum security forces. We will extend whatever infrastructure is needed.”
Governor’s rule was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir on June 20. It was followed by President’s rule on December 19. The proclamation of President’s rule was passed by the Rajya Sabha following the discussion and the minister’s reply.
Earlier, Leader of the Opposition and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad attacked the BJP for “destabilising” the government in the state. He alleged that the BJP had tried to split the Congress, the National Conference and PDP in the state to form its own government.
“Why did the Centre keep the Kashmir assembly in suspended animation for so long after withdrawing support? You (BJP) tried to break the parties. NC and PDP wanted the government to be formed in the state because Governor’s rule was not benefiting anyone. The minute BJP got to know about this, they dissolved the Vidhan Sabha,” Azad said.
Azad further attacked the BJP saying the Centre was incapable of feeling the pulse of the people and understanding the repercussions of Governor’s rule in J&K.
“It is toughest in Kashmir because the Governor has executive and legislative powers. The Centre has misused this and 55 amendments have been introduced in the laws,” Azad added.
Intervening in the debate, Leader of the House and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley accused the Congress of trying to wipe its own mistakes of the past made in J&K.

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