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Assembly polls in J&K before Sep 30: Amit Shah

12:26 AM May 27, 2024 IST | GK NEWS SERVICE
assembly polls in j k before sep 30  amit shah

New Delhi, May 26: Stressing that the parliamentary polls in Jammu and Kashmir were successfully over, Union Home Minister Amit Shah Sunday said that the next step was holding an assembly election in J&K before September 30, which would be followed by restoring statehood to it.


In an interview with the Press Trust of India (PTI), the Home Minister said, “We have completed the delimitation process. Reservation can only be provided post-delimitation as it requires the status of various castes. With the Lok Sabha election in J&K concluded, the next step is the assembly election, which we will conduct before the Supreme Court's deadline.”


On December 11, 2023, the Supreme Court directed the Election Commission of India (ECI) to hold elections in J&K by September 30, 2024.


Shah said that the successful polling in J&K reflects the vindication of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi government’s Kashmir policy.


He said that even separatists participated “overwhelmingly” in the recent elections, and assured that the assembly elections would be held before September 30.


“I have said in the Parliament that we will give the statehood after the assembly elections,” the Home Minister said.


He emphasised that the surveys of the backward classes and the delimitation exercise for both Assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies were on track.
Commenting on the increased polling percentage in Kashmir during the Lok Sabha elections, Shah said that there was a significant shift in attitudes.


“Voting percentage has increased. Some said the people of Kashmir did not believe in the Indian constitution. But this election, held under the Indian constitution after the scrapping of Kashmir's constitution, saw even those seeking a separate country or favouring Pakistan casting their votes overwhelmingly,” the Home Minister said.

He hailed the election turnout as a major victory for democracy and a success of the Modi government's decade-long Kashmir policy.
The ECI reported that the three seats in Kashmir - Srinagar (38.49 percent), Baramulla (59.1 percent), and Anantnag-Rajouri (53 percent) - recorded the highest voter turnout in decades.

About the BJP not fielding candidates in the Lok Sabha elections in Kashmir, Shah said that the party was still strengthening its organisation in the region.

“We will definitely field candidates in future elections. Our organisation is expanding and in the process of strengthening,” he said.

Addressing the possibility of merging Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) with J&K, Shah opined that PoK could have been part of India in 1947-48 if not for what he described as a premature ceasefire by the Jawaharlal Nehru government during the first war with Pakistan.

“Had the ceasefire been declared four days later, PoK would have been with us,” he said, stressing that such a merger requires extensive discussions due to its national importance.

Shah reiterated that the merger of PoK was part of the BJP’s manifesto and highlighted that a unanimous Parliamentary resolution supports this stance.

“The Congress party may not realise it, but they also voted for it,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Goa government issued an extreme heat wave advisory.

“Goa may experience extreme heat wave conditions till April 8,” said the MeT Department, prompting the state government to issue an advisory on Tuesday.

"Extreme heat and heatwave advisory by Directorate of Health Services, Goa. If you are experiencing heatwave symptoms, please seek immediate assistance at the nearest health centre or district hospital," the government said.

State Health Minister Vishwajit Rane has posted the advisory on his social media account.