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There’s strong possibility of J&K polls by the end of this year: Rajnath

In August 2019, the State of J&K lost its special status following the abrogation of Article 370 and was downgraded to a Union Territory — the State’s bifurcation led to the creation of a separate UT of Ladakh.

Written by Arun Sharma | Jammu |
Updated: June 18, 2022 8:03:15 am
Referring to the recently completed delimitation exercise, the BJP leader said the composition of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly was going to change after the delimitation of constituencies.(PTI/File)

In the first indication of a timeline for assembly elections in Jammu & Kashmir, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Friday that there is a “strong possibility” of starting the electoral process by “the end of this year”.

In August 2019, the State of J&K lost its special status following the abrogation of Article 370 and was downgraded to a Union Territory — the State’s bifurcation led to the creation of a separate UT of Ladakh.

Speaking at a function organised to mark 200 years of the coronation of Maharaja Gulab Singh, the first Dogra ruler of the princely State of J&K, Singh said, “Mujhe lagta hai ki is saal ke ant tak ho sakta hai ki chunavi prakriya bhi prarambh ho. Iski prabal sambhavna hai (I think the electoral exercise may also commence by the end of this year. There is a strong possibility).”

Referring to the recently concluded delimitation exercise, he said the composition of the J&K Assembly is going to change. As against 83 seats earlier — 37 in Jammu and 46 in Kashmir — there will now be 90 seats with 47 in Kashmir and 43 in Jammu, he said.

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Singh said J&K had to “suffer the agony of remaining isolated for 70 years” but “this problem has now been resolved,” he said — a reference to the abrogation of Article 370.

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“This new Jammu and Kashmir will soon stand on its feet and become an example not only in India, but the world over,” he said. The people of J&K, he said, have to play a role in shaping its future and, along with Ladakh, are going to play a major role in the new India.

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Without naming Kashmiri Pandits, Singh said J&K has already faced “the agony of migration” and it will not be allowed again. “We will ensure that no community is compelled to migrate under any circumstances,” he said.

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First published on: 17-06-2022 at 07:10:26 pm
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