The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the extension of President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir for another six months, beginning from July 3. Union Minister Prakash Javadekar made the announcement at a press briefing in New Delhi.
Jammu Kashmir has been under President’s rule since December 19, 2018. Earlier, it was placed under Governor’s Rule after the BJP pulled out of the coalition government with PDP in June last year.
Assembly elections in J&K will be held later this year, with the Election Commission confirming that the schedule will be announced after the Amarnath Yatra ends in August.
The Commission had said, “Election Commission, under Article 324 of the Constitution and other extant laws/rules etc. have unanimously decided that holding of Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir shall be considered later in this year. The Commission will keep on regularly and on real-time basis monitoring the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, taking inputs from all necessary quarters and after the conclusion of Amarnath Yatra will announce the election schedule for the conduct of assembly election in Jammu and Kashmir.”
The 46-day annual pilgrimage, beginning on July 1, takes up a lot of the state administration’s time and requires heavy security deployment.
In fact, as the security forces need to man the entire national highway from Lakhanpur to Kashmir Valley and other yatra routes from Baltal and Pahalgam to the holy shrine, the state administration starts deploying them at least a fortnight before the start of the Yatra.