Srinagar: Asserting that democracy is India’s soul, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said elections in the union territory will “surely” take place after the completion of the ongoing electoral revision and that the restoration of statehood would follow at an “appropriate time”.
Sinha’s remarks came at an event here late on Saturday after veteran Congress leader Karan Singh reiterated the demands to conduct assembly elections and also restore Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood.
The event was organised to felicitate Singh for his contribution to the erstwhile state.
“Democracy is India’s soul. Democracy and India are synonymous with each other. The prime minister and the country’s home minister have said it many times in the Parliament that elections (in Jammu and Kashmir) will take place,” Sinha said.
The LG said the process of delimitation in the union territory has been completed and the electoral roll revision started.
“After this, there will surely be elections,” he stressed.
Referring to the demand to restore Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood, Sinha said, “It has also been said many a times that (first) delimitation, then election, then restoration of statehood at an appropriate time. I do not think there is any scope of doubt in it,” he said.
The Centre had revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5, 2019.
The LG said Singh was an MP and would understand the significance of the government’s assurance in Parliament.
“You have been an MP and you understand the significance of an assurance given in the Parliament much better than me. The government’s assurance in Parliament is a truth like the sun rising from the east,” the LG said.
Earlier, the veteran Congress leader expressed hope that J-K’s union territory is a temporary measure just as the BJP projected Article 370 temporary.
“When drastic changes took place (on August 5, 2019) and we became a union territory, the way you were saying that Article 370 is temporary, I am sure that our union territory (status) will also be temporary and very soon we will get back our statehood,” Singh said.
On assembly elections, Singh said, “The political process must continue.”
“Whenever the political process gets frozen, the society also gets frozen. So, we are hopeful that the political process will begin soon and we will start a new phase,” he added.
Lauding the contributions of Singh in public life, the Lieutenant Governor called him a towering man of ideas and ideals.
Singh, with his multifaceted personality, has made a remarkable contribution to Indian polity and illumined literary world with his intellectual brilliance, the LG said.
Sinha called on the young generation, especially those engaged in social service and literary field, to draw inspiration from Singh’s life.
“It was the dreams of our founding fathers that development should be balanced, deeply rooted in the spiritual and cultural traditions of India. The remarkable, robust and resilient growth of Jammu and Kashmir is a finest example of our collective determination and triumph against various hurdles,” the LG said.
He said the development in various sectors demonstrates the government’s firm commitment to achieve speedy and all-round development.
It is also the responsibility of civil society, young and thinking minds to ensure peace and help the administration in providing equal opportunities for all, he added.
The LG said under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a fear-free, corruption-free and transparent system has been established in Jammu and Kashmir.
Singh, in his address, remembered his time and work as the Sadr-e-Riyasat (President of state). He also spoke briefly about the contribution made by his forefathers for the erstwhile princely state.
He also made a special mention of the efforts of the Lt Governor-led Union territory administration in transforming the iconic Dal Lake. (Agencies)