Polls likely in J&K in 6-8 months after Delimitation exercise: Amit Shah
HT NEWS NETWORK
Srinagar, Feb 22: Elections in Jammu and Kashmir will be held within six to eight months of the Delimitation exercise being wrapped up in the Union Territory, Home Minister Amit Shah said on Monday.
“The delimitation exercise is about to get over. After that, within six-eight months, the elections will be held. There is no confusion,” Amit Shah said in an interview.
It was speculated earlier this month that the Delimitation Commission, mandated to redraw the Assembly constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir, is likely to get a two-month extension. The term of the panel is coming to an end in early March. However, the Home Minister has given out a timeframe for completion of the Delimitation exercise and holding of polls in Jammu and Kashmir.
It may be mentioned that headed by former Supreme Court Judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, the panel has Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and the state election commissioner of Jammu and Kashmir as its ex-officio members.
In its draft report shared with its five associated members — all Lok Sabha members from Jammu and Kashmir — the delimitation panel has proposed an overhaul of Assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies in the Union Territory. Jammu and Kashmir at present have no Legislative Assembly. It is a UT with a provision for a legislature.
When asked about Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent statement that New Delhi and Islamabad should resolve their issues, especially Kashmir, together, Shah said: “Kashmir is an integral part of India. There is no point in discussion there. It is a part of India. This is the position taken by all governments in Parliament. This is the country’s position.”
The Home Minister also criticised Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s recent statement in Parliament that Narendra Modi’s government Kashmir policies had brought Pakistan and China closer.
“Rahul Gandhi doesn’t know the history of this country. He doesn’t know what happened in 1962 and because of whom. The Narendra Modi government has given a strong reply to every challenge posed by China,” Amit Shah said in the interview.
Gandhi had made the statement in the Lok Sabha on February 3 during the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s address.