Five years after Central rule, no clarity on J&K poll schedule

In a sarcastic tweet, National Conference (NC) vice president Omar Abdullah on Monday said democracy in India ends where Jammu and Kashmir begins.
National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah. (Photo | R Satish Babu, EPS)
National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah. (Photo | R Satish Babu, EPS)

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir has completed five years under direct central rule, but there is still no clarity on when the Assembly polls would be held in the Union Territory, said former Chief Minister and National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah adding that “democracy ends where Jammu and Kashmir begins”. 

“Democracy is in our veins, it is in our culture’; ‘India is the mother of democracy’; ‘India is the temple of democracy’. Great sounding words that the international community lap up & regurgitate ad-nauseam. Meanwhile, Jammu & Kashmir completed 5 years under central rule today. Democracy ends where J&K begins,” tweeted Abdullah. 

Jammu & Kashmir was bifurcated into two Union Territories, Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, and its special status was abrogated by the Centre on August 5, 2019. The state is hence being governed by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha. J&K has been under direct central rule since the collapse of the PDP-BJP coalition government headed by Mehbooba Mufti on June 19, 2018, after BJP withdrew support to the government citing security concerns.  

It is the second longest spell of direct central rule in J&K. Earlier, J&K remained under 81 months of central (governor’s/president’s rule) from January 19, 1990, to October 9, 1996, when militancy was at its peak. After the fall of the PDP-BJP coalition government, the Governor’s rule had to be imposed in J&K for six months before the imposition of the President’s rule under Article 92 of the J&K Constitution.

On November 21, then J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik dissolved the Assembly after PDP supported by Congress and NC staked a claim on government formation and a two-member Peoples Conference on government formation.

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