Assembly polls may be delayed
As the ground situation in Kashmir Valley, especially in the southern districts continues to baffle the security agencies, the dilemma of holding the state assembly elections continues to haunt the officials related with the poll exercise.
While the election commission of India hasn’t been, for the past two years, able to hold by-polls to the AnantnagLokSabha seat in view of the grim security situation in the southern constituency spread over four districts, the state authorities however, recently conducted municipal and panchayat elections across Jammu and Kashmir.
But what is worrying the officials is the minimal participation of people in the electoral exercises, particularly in southern districts of the valley which saw most of the candidates getting elected unopposed.
The conduct of municipal and panchayat polls provided an opening but still it remains to be seen whether the authorities will build upon it or the entire electoral exercise is delayed.
While the state administration has kick-started the preparations for conduct of general elections in Jammu and Kashmir, suspense over holding of assembly elections simultaneously still remains.
On November 22, the election commission of India talked about the possibility of holding the parliament and assembly polls simultaneously. But the chief election commissioner puta rider that the final decision on the dates would be taken only after considering all aspects.
What is interesting to watch is that the ruling BJP is exploring the option of delaying the polls towards the end of next year. Though no final call has been taken on the issue, but the BJP has been given to understand that the poll planks it may use for the state level elections may end up backfiring against the party.
The BJP managed to wrest 25 seats in Jammu division during the 2014 assembly elections on various slogans like mis-governance in the state, however, the party has been witnessing a steep decline in its support base owing to the fact that its members proved to be non-performers during the almost three tears it shared power with the PDP.
Besides, the mishandling of Kathua rape and murder case, the row over issues of Rohingyas and West Pakistan refugees too is adding up to the worries of the BJP leadership who are now contemplating to delay the assembly elections in the state.
Even though the regional parties like NC, Congress and the PDP may be interested in getting involved with the poll exercise, the BJP’s priorities seem to be different. The party as of now is getting its agenda fulfilled through the administration that is headed by the Governor.