Chidambaram slams govt for insisting on polls in Jammu and Kashmir before granting statehood

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Friday said it is bizarre that the government wants to hold elections in Jammu and Kashmir first and grant statehood later. He said the Congress and other parties in Jammu and Kashmir want statehood first and the elections later.

“Congress and other J&K parties and leaders want Statehood first and Elections afterward. Government’s response is Elections first and Statehood later,” he said on Twitter.

“The horse pulls the cart. A state must conduct elections. Only such elections will be free and fair. Why does the government want the cart in front and the horse behind? It is bizarre,” he added.

Nearly two years after the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two UTs and revocation of its special status, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held talks with top political leaders from the erstwhile state, and said the Centre’s priority is to strengthen grassroots democracy there for which delimitation has to happen quickly so that polls can be held.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who was also present at the meeting, had said that the delimitation exercise and holding of peaceful elections in the Union Territory are important milestones in restoring statehood as promised in Parliament.

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