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Political Parties Welcome ECI’s Move to Hold Assembly Elections in J&K

Srinagar, June 09: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has officially initiated the process for organizing Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), a move warmly received by political parties across the Union Territory.
Jaydeb Lahiri, Secretary of the ECI, announced the decision through a press note, stating, “The commission has decided to accept applications seeking allotment of common symbols under Para 10B of the Election Symbols (Reservation & Allotment) Order 1968 for the General Election to the Legislative Assembly of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir with immediate effect.”
This announcement follows a statement by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar, assuring that the people of J&K would soon have their democratically-elected government. The last Assembly election in J&K was held in 2014, making the upcoming election a landmark event after nearly a decade of direct central administration.
Political parties in J&K have welcomed the ECI’s move and are eagerly preparing for the elections.
A senior National Conference leader, who wished to remain anonymous, stated, “We are in full preparation mode and ready to contest with full vigor once the ECI announces the election dates.” The National Conference recently won two parliamentary seats from the Kashmir region in the Lok Sabha elections.
The BJP’s J&K unit also emphasized the party’s readiness. “We saw in the Lok Sabha polls how people participated in the election process and voted for the BJP. The BJP is fully prepared to participate in these elections. We are confident that the people will support our agenda,” BJP senior leader Altaf Thakur said. The BJP secured two Lok Sabha seats in the Jammu region.
Other parties have likewise welcomed the move, expressing hope that the elections will be held soon in J&K. The political landscape in J&K has undergone significant changes since the last elections. New political entities have emerged, adding a fresh dynamic to the contest. Senior politician Ghulam Nabi Azad’s Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) and Altaf Bukhari’s Apni Party are set to challenge established parties such as the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), JKNC, and the Indian National Congress. Sajad Lone’s Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference (JKPC) is also expected to be a crucial player in the upcoming elections.
The 2014 Assembly election saw a coalition government of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the PDP, led initially by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. Following his death in 2016, his daughter Mehbooba Mufti took over as Chief Minister. However, the coalition collapsed in June 2018 when the BJP withdrew its support, leading to Mehbooba Mufti’s resignation and the imposition of Governor’s Rule, followed by President’s Rule.
A turning point in J&K’s political history came on August 5, 2019, when Parliament abrogated Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution, which granted special autonomy to the region. This move also led to the bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories: Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. Since then, the Union Territory of J&K has been under the administration of a Lieutenant Governor, with Manoj Sinha currently holding the position.
The decision to conduct Assembly elections is seen as a step towards normalcy and the restoration of democratic processes in J&K. Political analysts and residents alike are keenly watching the developments, as the upcoming elections are expected to shape the future political landscape of the region. “These elections are not just about choosing representatives; they symbolize the return of democratic governance to the people of J&K,” said a political analyst.
The enthusiasm among political parties is palpable. The party led by Ghulam Nabi Azad, making its debut in these elections, expressed confidence in its prospects. “We are committed to addressing the aspirations and concerns of the people of J&K. Our focus is on development, peace, and prosperity,” stated one of the DPAP leaders. Similarly, Altaf Bukhari’s Apni Party is gearing up to make a significant impact. “We are here to offer a viable alternative to the people, one that is rooted in the principles of transparency, accountability, and inclusive growth,” Bukhari’s party stated.
As the ECI moves forward with the electoral process, the people of J&K eagerly await the formal announcement of election dates. The return of an elected legislative assembly is seen as a crucial step in the region’s journey towards political stability and democratic governance.(kns)

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