“Neither Delimitation, Nor Elections in J&K”
Jammu, February 12: Alleging subversion of democracy in J&K post Article 370 abrogation, Harsh Dev Singh, JKNPP Chairman and former Minister said that BJP led govt. appeared to be averse to the idea of holding Assembly elections in the new set up. He said that while no initiative had been taken to restore popular rule in J&K, the BJP govt. seemed to be least bothered about holding delimitation in the newly created UT.
This was evident from the disregard for the said issue in the successive sessions of Parliament held after the re-organization of the state, he revealed. While the BJP leadership was creating a lot of Jangle and rattle over the issue of delimitation and increase of seats for Jammu, the fact remained that it failed to initiate any action in respect thereof despite lapse of more than six months after the conversion of state into UTs, observed Singh. No move was initiated to bring the necessary amendments in the relevant laws for holding the delimitation exercise in J&K during the past three sessions of parliament including Monsoon session, winter session and the recent Budget session, lamented Harsh Dev Singh.
He said that with delimitation denied, political process having been rendered defunct in J&K and political parties discredited and discouraged, the centre seemed to be hell-bent to continue its proxy rule in the erstwhile Dogra state. He was addressing a press conference in Jammu.
Asserting that legitimate, elected govt. alone could represent and honour the popular sentiment, Harsh dev Singh questioned the rationale behind the repeated postponement of Assembly Elections in J&K. He said that Election Commission had earlier taken a call for simultaneous polls of Assembly & Parliament which however did not materialize. It later issued a statement on 4th June, 2019 stating therein that the EC “after the conduct of Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra will announce the election schedule for the conduct of Assembly Elections in J&K”, revealed Singh adding that it too turned out to be a damp squib. Likewise, statements of early Assembly polls were issued by central govt. Governor and the Lt Governor also, which too created only cynicism amongst the masses in view of the frequency with which they were made and then forgotten.
Pointing towards euphoria created post Article 370 abrogation in the name of fresh Delimitation of Assembly constituencies, Harsh Dev Singh said that it too had petered out with the centre maintaining a studied silence over the issue. He said that even otherwise Delimitation exercise can’t be held in J&K in view of a provision incorporated in J&K Reorganization Act by virtue of Section 63 which emphatically rules out Delimitation of Assembly constituencies in the UT of J&K until after the first census taken after the year 2026. He said that until and unless the J&K Reorganization Act was amended by both Houses of Parliament, no delimitation could take place in J&K. The uncertainty was however allowed to continue by making misleading statements about delimitation and early Assembly elections regretted Harsh Dev Singh.
Asserting that a people’s govt. alone could fulfil the aspirations of the general masses, Harsh Dev Singh sought early restoration of democracy by putting an end to proxy rule imposed by the Centre in J&K. Surinder Chouhan District President Jammu (Rural) of JKNPP and Gurdeep Singh were also present in the press conference.