Facing criticism for failing to conduct elections in Jammu and Kashmir, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today announced that poll in J&K would take place before September.
“The Assembly poll in Jammu and Kashmir will be conducted before September,” Tarun Chugh, BJP general secretary in charge, said on Saturday.
Chugh said the BJP’s desire is for Assembly elections to occur as soon as possible.
However, he said that the final decision lies with the Election Commission of India (ECI), stating that the BJP is prepared for poll before September.
He cited recent Bills providing reservation to Paharis in the region, saying the BJP’s efforts to grant such reservations to backward classes like Gujjars earlier have been exemplary.
Political leaders like National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah have been accusing the Election Commission and the BJP of delaying Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
Abdullah says the BJP wouldn’t secure even 10 seats if Assembly elections were held today in the region.
Omar earlier said it is a matter of sadness that directions came from the Supreme Court for holding Assembly elections before September. “I am saying the EC should be ashamed of itself. The EC should apologise to people. The decision it had to take was taken by the Supreme Court. The decision to hold poll should have come from the EC, and the Government of India should have facilitated it. But both showed indifference towards it.”
The Supreme Court, in its decision on December 11 last year, while upholding the abrogation of Article 370, directed the EC to hold elections in Jammu and Kashmir by September 30.
CJI DY Chandrachud, leading a five-judge Constitution Bench, said that direct elections were a paramount feature of democracy and could not be withheld.