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Democracy in Jammu and Kashmir made captive to whims of rulers: NPP

Jammu | Accusing the BJP-led government at the Centre of delaying assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir, National Panthers Party on Tuesday said the denial of democratic rights to people could prove counterproductive.

NPP chairman Harsh Dev Singh rued that the assembly elections was deferred in Jammu and Kashmir on “flimsy excuses” of security constraints.

“Union Ministry of Home Affairs which had assured to provide adequate security for simultaneous polls took a U-turn at the eleventh hour only for political reasons,” Singh, a former state minister, told reporters here.

Recalling Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “repeated” calls to hold simultaneous polls across the nation, he said the Centre went back on its promises and failed to implement even the prime minister’s declaration despite consensus amongst all political parties in the state over the issue.

Reiterating the need for early elections to the state assembly, Singh said the delaying it not only amounted to subversion of democracy but also violated the Supreme Court orders.

“The people could not be deprived of their democratic rights in the state only for the political inexpediencies of the ruling party at the centre by taking the plea of security related issues,” he said.

With the state earlier remaining under the Governor rule for six months followed by the President’s rule, it is wholly unjustified and unconstitutional to have further extension of the Central Rule after May 21, he said.

While ridiculing the statements over security constraints, he said it was “ludicrous” to take the plea of shortage of security personnel for holding simultaneous polls for Parliament and state assembly as the number of polling stations to be catered by the security staff for both the elections would remain the same.

Even the Supreme Court had ruled that elections to legislative assemblies in states, where assemblies are prematurely dissolved, should be held within a period of six months.

“With the period of six months expiring on May 21 in Jammu and Kashmir, the elections to the legislative assembly were required to be held within the time frame prescribed by the apex court and a popular government installed before the stipulated deadline , Singh said.

He said the democracy could not be held “hostage to the political expediencies” of the ruling party at the centre.

Flaying the BJP-led NDA for denying the people of the state their democratic rights, Singh said the people could not be further deprived of their right to choose their own representatives and to have an elected government in the state.

“If the municipal and the panchayat elections could be held in the state, the postponement of the assembly elections on frivolous grounds defied all logic and rationale,” he said.

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