Centre ready to hold Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir: Home Minister Rajnath Singh

Rajnath Singh also rejected claims of some opposition parties that the BJP was propping up a regional party to form government.

Published: 28th December 2018 05:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th December 2018 07:23 PM   |  A+A-

Home Minister Rajnath Singh

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh (Photo | PTI)


NEW DELHI: As the Opposition slammed the decision to impose President's Rule in Jammu and Kashmir, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday told Lok Sabha that no party was in a position to form government in the state and asserted that the Centre is "ready" for assembly election there.

He also rejected claims of some opposition parties that the BJP was propping up a regional party to form government, saying if his party had such an intention, it would have done so within six months of the Governor's Rule.

"The government doesn't conduct elections but the government is ready for the election. It is the responsibility of the Election Commission to hold elections. .. we are totally committed to democratic process," he told the lower house while replying to the Statutory Resolution on imposition of President's Rule in Jammu and Kashmir.

The resolution was adopted by a voice vote.

The Minister assured the House that security requirement of the Election Commission will be met for free and fair assembly election in the state.

Soon after imposition of the Governor's Rule in June, Singh said, the Governor's report of June 19 to the President indicated that no party or coalition of parties in the state was in a position to form government.

So the Governor's rule was imposed in these conditions, he said, adding the Assembly was not dissolved for six months in anticipation of formation of government in the state.

However, no party staked claim to form government so the Governor had to recommend President's Rule, he said.

As Singh was speaking, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah interjected, saying, "The PDP approached our party and we agreed to provide them support along with the Congress. But the irony was that the fax and phone of the Governor was not working."

Abdullah asserted that the Governor's House is not the place to prove majority and it is the floor of Assembly here the government of the day has to prove its strength.

The Home Minister said that no party was in a position to form government in the state even a day before December 19 when the Governor had to take decision about dissolution of the Assembly.

"Our intentions should never be doubted on Jammu and Kashmir.

If the BJP had to form the government, we could have done it within six months of the Governor's Rule," he said.

The BJP could have done it by talking to other parties but it did not do so till the end, he added.

As far as the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is concerned, he said, it is an old problem.

The government is trying to improve the conditions by taking various steps like creating more employment for the people of the state.

Even grassroots democracy is being strengthened, he said, noting that local bodies elections have been held after a gap of many years.

Elected representatives of the local bodies are being given administrative and financial powers, he added.


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