J-K governor says state fully prepared to hold assembly polls
Jammu and Kashmir plunged into political uncertainty on June 19 last year after the Mehbooba Mufti-led coalition government was reduced to a minority following withdrawal of support by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)Updated: Jan 11, 2019 23:58 IST
Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik said on Friday the administration was ready to hold assembly polls in the state but it was up to the Election Commission (EC) to take a call.
“It depends upon the Election Commission to decide. As far as we are concerned, we are fully prepared to hold assembly elections. The EC can hold Lok Sabha and assembly polls simultaneously,” he told reporters after the oath-taking ceremony of newly elected sarpanches in Jammu.
Last November, the Election Commission (EC) had said elections in Jammu and Kashmir would be held within six months. It did not rule out the possibility of holding the state elections before the Lok Sabha polls due in April-May this year.
Jammu and Kashmir plunged into political uncertainty on June 19 last year after the Mehbooba Mufti-led coalition government was reduced to a minority following withdrawal of support by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The state then came under Governor’s rule for six months, after the expiry of which President’s rule was imposed on December 20. Earlier, on November 21, the legislative assembly was dissolved by the governor in a late-night move.
According to the Supreme Court, elections must be held within six months from the date of dissolution of the assembly.
On Tuesday, former chief minister Omar Abdullah said the assembly polls should be held “as soon as possible”. He also took a dig at some politicians and bureaucrats for “creating hurdles” in the way of conducting state polls along with the upcoming general elections.
Earlier, at the oath-taking ceremony, Malik lauded the people and government functionaries of the state for ensuring smooth conduct of the civic and panchayat polls under trying circumstances. He called it the victory of democracy in a country that has always kept the faith in democratic institutions.
He also advised the newly elected sarpanches to ensure holistic development in sync with environment concerns. “We will seek suggestions from all of you while mulling projects. You need to tell us about your requirements like hospitals, schools, colleges, roads, water and electricity. I would also like to ask all of you get an audit done of trees in your villages and ensure their safety. Similarly, catch poachers and had them over to police,” he said.
First Published: Jan 11, 2019 23:57 IST