Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Monday said the political parties demanding early assembly elections in J&K must cooperate with the Delimitation Commission so that the process is completed at the earliest.
“Those demanding early assembly polls in J&K must help and cooperate with the Delimitation Commission so that the process is completed and assembly polls are held in the UT,” Sinha told reporters in Jammu when asked about the schedule of assembly polls.
“Instead of criticizing the delimitation process and staying away from the exercise, the politicians who want early assembly polls must help to end the exercise. Once the delimitation exercise ends in J&K, the Election Commission of India will assess the situation and accordingly announce the poll dates,” he said.
Condemning the growing incidents of militancy in Srinagar, the LG Sinha said that militancy “won’t be allowed to grow at any cost”. The Delimitation Commission met on Thursday to seek suggestions from the associate members on the process of delimitation of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Associate members are lawmakers from their respective states who assist the delimitation panel in redrawing parliamentary and assembly constituencies. However, NC’s Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Mohammad Akbar Lone, and Hasnain Masoodi skipped the meeting.
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti had said the Centre was ‘railroading’ delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir with a ‘tearing hurry’ that raised serious apprehensions about the motives of the exercise.
When the Lieutenant Governor was asked as to when the polls could be held, he said the Election Commission will decide on it once the delimitation exercise is completed. ‘There are constitutional institutions in India. The decision is taken by the Election Commission. Let the work related to delimitation get completed, the Commission will conduct elections,’ he said.
The LG said that ‘the prime minister has assured the entire nation (on holding polls) and you have seen reports in newspapers that the Delimitation Commission has begun its work’.
Jammu and Kashmir are a Union Territory with provisions for a legislature. At present, it is under central rule. Replying to queries on NC and PDP leaders calling for dialogue between India and Pakistan, the LG said India is capable of solving its problems.
‘I don’t want to react to someone’s statement. The Ministry of External Affairs assesses this. India is capable of solving its problems,’ Sinha said. He also condemned the recent attacks on policemen by terrorists and said that terrorism won’t be allowed to grow at any cost.