NC, PDP Slam Security Meetings: Focus on Elections, Not Rhetoric

NC, PDP Slam Security Meetings: Focus on Elections, Not Rhetoric

After Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday chaired a high-level security review meeting and directed security forces to crush growing terrorism in Jammu division, the regional political parties have started questioning such the rationale of such meetings.

“What’s the point in holding these high-level security meetings when acts of terror continue unabated along with the deaths of innocent civilians? Or does the BJP want to create a narrative of instability to defer elections in J&K, knowing that it will lose?” PDP leader Iltija Mufti tweeted. On Saturday, NC MP Aga Ruhullah had warned against the deferring of J&K Assembly poll, saying that after the large-scale participation of people in the Lok Sabha elections, not holding polls would be construed as “betrayal” by people.

He had said that suspending elections in J&K would be akin to “murder of democracy”. “In the 2024 polls, people have given more mandate to the Opposition than to the government, and that is why you are seeing that the Opposition strength has reached more than 230,” the Srinagar MP said. “The people have reduced the power of the BJP’s autocracy and weakened it. The BJP is on crutches now,” he added. “You will see its impact and in the next five years, the Opposition will be stronger,” Ruhullah had said.

“People came out in unprecedented numbers during the LS poll to express their desire for the restoration of democracy in the region and to have their government run by elected representatives. The BJP has been claiming they have ended militancy in J&K, but these incidents in Jammu negate such claims. It shows the BJP’s total failure,” he said.

Currently, J&K is without a Legislative Assembly. The last Assembly elections here were held in 2014, leading to the formation of a BJP-PDP coalition government, led by Mehbooba Mufti. However, the coalition ended in 2018 after the BJP withdrew its support to the Mehbooba government and since then, Assembly poll has not been held in J&K. The UT is also without elected panchayats and local urban bodies.

On January 9, the five-year term of 28,000 representatives from 4,291 panchayats and block development councils had ended. The last panchayat elections were held in November-December 2018, and municipalities had their elections in October of the same year. Panchayat elections scheduled for October-November last year faced delay due to the OBC reservations following an amendment to the Panchayat Raj Act.

The Supreme Court, in its decision on December 11 last year, while upholding the abrogation of Article 370, had directed the Election Commission to hold elections in J&K by September 30, 2024. Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, leading a five-judge Constitution bench, had said that direct elections were a paramount feature of democracy and could not be withheld. However, political parties now are accusing the BJP of creating narrative to defer Assembly poll.

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