Harsh Dev Singh addressing a press rally
Jammu, April 26: Launching a scathing attack on the centre and state governments for creating hurdles in the way of the Assembly elections in the state without any rationale, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh JKNPP Chairman and Former Minister regretted that it had not only amounted to subversion of democracy but also violated the orders of the Supreme Court. “The people could not be deprived of their democratic rights in the state only for the political inexpediencies of the ruling party at the centre and vested interests in the state”, said Singh. He was addressing a press conference in Jammu today.
Addressing the media, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh divulged that in the month of January this year, CEO held All Party meeting (APM) regarding Assembly polls during which all the political parties excluding the BJP endorsed the need of early elections in the State but nothing concrete emerged out of it.
It was followed by the visit of full Election Commission which conducted a two-day review of poll preparedness in J&K. During the visit, the Commission met with the representatives of various political parties and almost all of them voiced the need to have both Parliamentary and Assembly Elections conducted at the earliest in the State in view of the peaceful conduct of Panchayat and ULB elections. The ECI, however, overlooked the subsequently, the Election Commission (EC) formed a committee of “special observers” comprising three eminent members to assess the situation on the ground before taking a decision about holding the Assembly elections in the state. Though the Lok Sabha elections were announced to be conducted in time, the fate of Assembly elections in the State surprisingly remained uncertain, Harsh rued.
Terming the appointment of special observers by the EC as a mere eyewash, Mr. Singh regretted that the said exercise also proved a damp squib. And now once again the state officers had been summoned to Delhi by ECI which defied logic, he said adding that the state bureaucracy was the biggest stumbling block in the way of Assembly Elections. He maintained that the present dispensation in the state did not want elections in the state for vested interests and was posing hindrances in the way of elections by taking frivolous excuses.
Mr. Harsh Dev Singh further stated that with the State earlier remaining under Governor Rule for six months followed by President’s Rule, it would be wholly unjustified and unconstitutional to plan further extension of central Rule after May 21, “Even the Supreme Court had ruled that Elections to Legislative Assemblies in states, where Assemblies are prematurely dissolved, should be held within a period of six months.
In the case of J&K, the period of six months expiring on May 21, the Elections to Legislative Assembly should have been held within the time frame prescribed by Apex court and popular govt installed before the stipulated deadline”, added Mr. Singh.
Flaying the BJP led NDA and present state dispensation for denying the people of J&K their democratic rights, Mr. Singh said that the people were purposely deprived of their right to choose their own representatives and to have an elected govt in the state. If the Municipal, Panchayat and Parliamentary elections could be held in the state, then what was the hitch for EC to conduct the Assembly elections? , questioned Harsh.
Mr. Surinder Chouhan District President (Rural) was also present in the press conference.