In an indication that Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir might take place soon, BJP workers have been asked to be ready for election by the year-end or start of 2022. Sources told Republic TV that BJP national general secretary (organisation) BL Santhosh addressed the party workers in this regard on the first day of his visit to Jammu. So far, he has interacted with core group members, morcha presidents, general secretaries and cadre and took feedback about the functioning of the state unit leadership.
Notably, the last Assembly election in J&K was held in November-December 2014 which threw up a hung Assembly. In the 87-member House, PDP had 28 members, BJP 25, NC 15, and Congress 12. On March 1, 2015, PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed took over as the Chief Minister after PDP and BJP forged a post-poll coalition. After his untimely death in January 2016, his daughter and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti took oath as the CM on April 4, 2016.
However, the region again witnessed political instability after she resigned on June 19, 2018, post BJP pulling out of the alliance. When PDP, NC and Congress decided to join hands for government formation on November 21, 2018, the Governor unexpectedly dissolved the state Assembly. With the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2020 and the revocation of statehood, elections were further delayed.
PM Modi promises early elections
14 politicians namely – NC president Farooq Abdullah, NC vice-president Omar Abdullah, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, CPI(M) leader MY Tarigami, Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ghulam Ahmad Mir and Tara Chand, J&K Apni party supremo Syed Altaf Bukhari, JKPC leaders Sajad Lone and Muzaffar Baig, Panthers Party chief Bhim Singh, BJP leaders Ravinder Raina, Kavinder Gupta, and Nirmal Singh attended a meeting with PM Modi on June 24. These leaders shared their views on giving a further fillip to the democratic process in J&K. The PM appreciated the cordial atmosphere of talks and talked about strengthening democracy at the grassroots.
At the same time, he promised that the Union Territory will get an elected government after the delimitation process is over. Expressing satisfaction at the progress of development projects in J&K, he urged all the leaders to work together to realise the aspirations of the youth. Speaking on this occasion, Union Home Minister Amit Shah stated that several major road projects, two new AIIMS and 7 new Medical Colleges are being set up in J&K. Moreover, he stressed that the delimitation and peaceful Assembly polls will be “important milestones” in restoring statehood as promised in the Parliament.