Srinagar: Union Home Minister Amit Shah has reiterated that J&K’s statehood will be restored at an appropriate time but hasn’t fixed any deadline for it.
An analyst while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “It appears that the Centre is satisfied with J&K functioning as a union territory and it seems in no mood to disturb the status-quo.”
He said, “It appears that the forthcoming assembly elections will be fought without J&K’s statehood being restored. The politicians will have to work with curtailed powers.”
“Even after the assembly elections are held the Lieutenant Governor will be the boss and the affairs will be managed by the Centre directly. New Delhi not fixing any timeframe for restoration of J&K’s statehood and merging the AGMUT cadre with J&K cadre are direct hints that the status of union territory is there to stay,” the analyst added.
An observer said, “The formation of District Development Council (DDC) Boards has pushed the politicians to a grass root level and they will have to work very hard to prove their worth.”
He said, “Assembly elections in J&K are likely to be held after the delimitation process is completed. Jammu and Kashmir regions will have equal number of assembly seats. It’s not going to be a cakewalk for the regional parties to capture the chief minister’s office this time around.”
The observer said, “Regional parties have been raising the pitch to seek J&K’s statehood back but for time being the Centre has said no. What will be interesting now is who all will contest the elections and what will the big leaders do? Will they contest the assembly polls or stay away from the process?”
He said, “According to the warrant of precedence in the union territory ministers don’t enjoy the ultimate authority. They just act as facilitators and not as decision makers. Politicians have been left with no other option other than to accept what they have been given.”
A politician said, “We have to reorganize ourselves now. Until we don’t get the statehood back we will not get any big role to play. It seems that the Centre wants to run J&K as a union territory for a few more years and if the experiment works then restoration of the statehood looks difficult.”
He said, “Political parties in the new setup won’t have any bigger role except taking care of the local issues as the major powers have been taken over by the Centre. We have to remain content with what we have got at least for the time being.”