Press Trust of India

Not hopeful of Centre holding assembly polls in JK in 2024: Congress Leader

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Jammu: Senior Congress leader and former MP Bhakta Charan Das on Friday said he was not hopeful of the BJP-led central government holding assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir before September-end. However, he said, the government should respect democracy, people’s sentiment and the Supreme Court directive by holding the much-awaited elections in the Union Territory.

Das, who heads the cluster-IV screening committee for recommending party candidates for Lok Sabha elections, was talking to reporters before a closed-door meeting with the 26-member J&K Pradesh Election committee here.

“The (Narendra) Modi-led government should respect democracy, aspirations of the people of J&K and the Supreme Court (which had directed holding of assembly polls before September-end). The election can happen if the government is willing but I do not see it happening. They have not respected democracy at many places. But it will be good if they hold the assembly polls here,” the Congress leader said.

He was responding to a question about the party’s preparations for the assembly elections in the Union Territory.

Last month, the Congress announced five screening committees for recommending party candidates for Lok Sabha elections. The party has grouped states and Union territories in five clusters.

“The cluster-IV screening committee is covering almost all of north India. We had a first round with the pradesh Congress and Friday we will go into some technicalities like how to fight the next LS election and the alliance partners. We will submit our report to the five-member screening committee which was constituted for the purpose,” he said.

He said a dialogue is going on with the alliance partners to address any confusion. “We are not a decision-making committee. That is not our area of operation. We are for technical work while the political negotiation and finalisation of candidates (with alliance partners) will be done by a separate committee.”

Das, however, said the INDIA bloc is “very important” for Jammu and Kashmir and the country and, “as per our opinion, all the alliance partners must move together”.

Press Trust of India

Press Trust of India is lead news agency of India

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