By: Afaq Bhat
Srinagar: Delimitation Panel assigned with the job to redraw parliamentary and assembly constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir recently got a 2-month extension. The commission is all set to finalize its recommendations soon which would pave the way for holding of assembly elections in the Union Territory.
Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, recently stated that the polls in J&K would be held in the last quarter of this year but he didn’t make any mention about J&K getting its statehood back.
It’s in place to mention here that political parties have intensified their activities during the past few months and these parties are trying to build the ground to make a comeback.
An observer while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “During the past two years the political scenario in J&K has changed completely. The political parties need to come up with news slogans and narratives. They will have to focus on the issues related to governance and development as the people have become aware of the fact that New Delhi holds the key and J&K will remain to be under Centre’s control till the leaders sitting in the National Capital decide to restore J&K’s statehood.”
He said, “All the political parties have made it clear that whenever the elections are held they will participate as the politicians have realized that staying away from power is not helping their cause and they are losing ground with each passing day.”
An analyst said, “If J&K continues to remain a Union Territory the powers of ministers won’t be the same as they used to be prior to August 5, 2019 (when the Centre announced its decision to abrogate J&K’s special status and divided it into two Union Territories). The final authority will rest with the Lieutenant Governor. The politicians will have to adapt to the new ways of working.”
It may be recalled that last year the J&K Government issued a new “Warrant of Precedence” according to which former chief ministers and cabinet ministers of the state were placed at number fourteen. “In the new setup the roles of politicians are going to remain confined. Former chief ministers, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti have stated that they won’t contest the elections until the statehood is restored. It seems both the leaders have gauged that even if they make it to the top office, they won’t get the powers which they were used to in the past,” the analyst added.