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JKNPP stages demonstration to press for early assembly polls

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Press Trust of India Jammu
Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party activists Sunday staged a demonstration here to press for early Assembly polls, saying there is no justification to keep the people "deprived" of their right to choose their representatives and to have an elected government in the state.
The protest led by JKNPP chairman and former minister Harsh Dev Singh at Exhibition Ground was held two days before the Election Commission (EC) officials are scheduled to meet in New Delhi to discuss the possible dates of the Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir.
"If the municipal, panchayat and parliamentary elections could be held in the state, then what was the hitch for the EC to conduct the assembly elections?" Singh asked.
Accusingthe state administration of creating hurdles in the way of the assembly elections without any rationale, the JKNPP leader alleged that democracy in the state was being guillotined ruthlessly for the political expediencies of the ruling party at the Centre and vested interests of the Governor's administration.
"BJP, knowing the fact that it has lost the ground in its core constituency, is hell bent to procrastinate the assembly polls while the Governor and his coterie seemed to have tasted the pleasure of power and have become reluctant to part ways from it.
"What a shame that for their petty gains the people have been kept deprived of their right to choose representatives and to have an elected government in the state," he told reporters.
On Friday, top officials from the Jammu and Kashmir administration, including Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmaniam, Home Secretary Shaleen Kabra and DGP Dilbagh Singh, met the EC officials in Delhi to discuss the poll preparedness in the state.
However, the administration did not favour holding of polls to the state legislative assembly in the near future in view of the ongoing tourist season and the forthcoming Amarnath Yatra in the valley, which will begin on July 1.
The election authorities in Jammu and Kashmir had written to district election officers last week to submit list of district level nodal officers within two days for assembly polls in the state. However, the order was withdrawn within hours of it being issued.
Jammu and Kashmir does not have an elected government since the PDP-BJP coalition government fell apart in June 2018.
The state was placed under the Governor's rule, as provided by the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, on June 19, 2018.
As mandated by the Constitution, the state was brought under President's Rule on December 19, 2018, which will have to be extended for a period of six months on May 19 or till an elected government is put in place, whichever is earlier.

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First Published: Apr 28 2019 | 3:00 PM IST

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