By: Sanket Pathak
New Delhi: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has started preparing the ground for polls in Jammu and Kashmir, holding meetings to review the security arrangements in the Union Territory.
If Home Ministry sources are to be believed, elections can be held in the Union Territory next year.
According to information available, Union Home Minister Amit Shah can visit the UT in September end.
If everything goes smoothly, the Assembly polls can be held next year.
According to sources it will be more convenient if the Assembly polls are held in March or April next year.
The timing of the polls has to be decided by the Election Commission but that is possible only when the Union Home Ministry gives the green signal.
This is the reason officers of the Home Ministry are preparing a report on the ground situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Union Home Ministry could also call an all party meeting on the polls where suggestions will be sought from the political parties.
A Home Ministry official said that the ministry is holding regular meetings on the polls in the Union Territory.
Recently, Shah had also held a review meeting with the chiefs of the security agencies. In the meeting, security agencies were asked to create a conducive atmosphere for the polls. Incidents of infiltration and target killings have been on the rise in the Union Territory.
Home Ministry sources said that it will be difficult to conduct the polls before April-May next year due to the bone chilling weather in the Valley for 40-50 days.
Security is being tightened for the local leaders as a few months earlier, a few local leaders were also targeted.
Recently, Shah had held a meeting of the BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir unit in Delhi, which was also attended by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and senior leaders.
Shah had asked the BJP leaders to be prepared for the polls and strengthen the organisation in the Union Territory.
After the abrogation of Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, the state was divided into the two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Since then, people here are waiting for elections. (IANS)