Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju during his recent visit to Kashmir once again made it clear that the Election Commission of India (ECI) is an independent body and doesn’t “dance to anyone’s tunes.”
Rijiju statement has come at a time, when the speculations are rife that the assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir are likely to be held early next year.
The Union Law Minister has made it explicitly clear that it’s the ECI that has to take a call on polls in the Union Territory and no one else can take a decision. The government’s role is to facilitate and it cannot dictate terms to the commission.
Preparations are on for holding the assembly polls in J&K but till now no specific date has been announced. Political parties have understood that the maiden assembly elections in Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir are in the offing and they need to remain prepared for it.
After August 5, 2019, the political scenario in Jammu and Kashmir has changed completely. The political parties are in no position to call the shots. The redrawing of the assembly constituencies has changed the entire dynamics as the assembly seats have been divided equally between Jammu and Kashmir regions.
No Kashmir based party seems to be in a position to claim that it would form the government independently. So elections in Jammu and Kashmir this time around are going to be an entirely different ball game.
Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, during his recent visit to J&K had stated that the assembly elections will be held soon in J&K. After his announcement the preparations for the polls have picked up in Jammu and Kashmir.
Ultimately it’s the ECI that has to decide when to hold the elections as the date has to be announced by the Commission. The Union Law Minister has made it explicitly clear that the ball is in the court of the ECI and whenever it decides elections will be held.
Rijiju also spoke about the District Development Council polls that were held in 2020 and the development J&K has witnessed during the past three years.
He has drawn home a point that elections in the UT won’t be held for political gains of any party but these will be conducted for the people and the J&K’s development is the only agenda.