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J&K’s political landscape abuzz  again as PM Modi announces Assembly polls


Srinagar, Jun 22: In what political pundits see as a decisive move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the forthcoming assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, setting the stage for a significant political showdown. This declaration follows a series of terrorist attacks in the region, with the latest incidents targeting civilians and security forces, underscoring the urgency for a stable and democratic governance structure in the Union Territory.

Terrorist Attacks Heighten Urgency

The announcement comes in the wake of increased terrorist activities. On June 9, just before Prime Minister Modi’s swearing-in, terrorists attacked a bus of pilgrims in Shivkhori, resulting in nine deaths and over 33 injuries. This was followed by another incident in Saida Sohal village, Hiranagar, where terrorists attempted to take hostages, leading to the deaths of two terrorists and injuries to a civilian and a CRPF jawan. Additionally, multiple attacks on security personnel have raised concerns about the ongoing threat of terrorism in the region.

Political Parties Gear Up

The Prime Minister’s announcement has effectively put an end to the decade-long speculation about the timing of assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir. In response, political parties are mobilizing their resources and strategizing for the upcoming elections. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has appointed Union Minister G Kishan Reddy as the election in-charge for the region, indicating their serious commitment to the electoral process.

On the other hand, the Indian National Congress is preparing for a crucial meeting in New Delhi on June 27 to discuss election strategies. There is speculation that a senior Congress leader from Punjab may be assigned the role of election in-charge for Jammu and Kashmir, highlighting the party’s focus on regaining political ground in the region.

Opposition’s Demands and Concerns

The opposition, particularly the Congress party, has criticized the BJP for rushing into elections under the pressure of the Supreme Court’s orders without first restoring statehood to Jammu and Kashmir. Raman Bhalla, the acting president of the state Congress, emphasized the need for statehood restoration and criticized the BJP for failing to ensure security and normalcy in the region.

Similarly, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) echoed the demand for statehood, with general secretary Amrik Singh highlighting the necessity of an elected government to address the administrative and governance issues faced by the common people.

BJP’s Confidence

Despite the criticisms, the BJP remains confident. State President Ravindra Raina stated that the party is fully prepared for the elections, buoyed by their performance in the recent Lok Sabha elections. The BJP aims to emerge as the dominant political force in the upcoming assembly elections. —(KNO)

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