The JKNPP Tuesday demanded that assembly elections be held before the Lok Sabha elections in Jammu and Kashmir, saying any delay in the state polls will amount to “subversion of democracy”.
The Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party also appealed to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to take a decision about holding assembly elections in the state without any further delay.
“With the state earlier remaining under Governor’s 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,” JKNPP chairman and former minister Harsh Dev Singh told reporters here.
He claimed rumours were doing rounds in the political circles that assembly elections in the state might be held after the parliamentary polls by extending the President’s Rule.
Singh said even the Supreme Court had ruled that if the legislative assembly of a state is prematurely dissolved, then fresh elections should be held within a period of six months.
“The democracy cannot be held hostage for the political expediencies of the ruling party at the Centre,” he said.
The JKNPP chief accused the BJP-led NDA of “denying” the people of Jammu and Kashmir their democratic rights.
Singh said the people could not be further deprived of their right to choose their own representatives and to have an elected government in the state.
“If the municipal and panchayat elections could be held in the state, the postponement of assembly elections on frivolous grounds defies all logic and rationale,” he said.
Referring to a September 2018 order of the ECI, Singh said in case of premature dissolution of a state assembly, the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) immediately comes into force in the state concerned till fresh elections are held.
“If the MCC was imposed in Telangana last year in view of the dissolution of its assembly before maturity, why was the state of J&K left out in similar circumstances by defying the ECI’s directives?” he asked.