Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir state Congress chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir on Wednesday stated that Governor Satya Pal Malik and the central government need to clarify their stance on the situation arising in connection with the upcoming municipal and panchayat elections in the state.
Addressing a presser here, Mir said, “The Governor and the Centre should clarify their stance to the people of the state whether they will conduct the election or not. Their decisions are not fixed, it is changing almost every hour.”
Expressing his disillusionment, Mir claimed that the polls were “declared without an assessment of the ground realities”.
He said that a state of confusion has been prevailing in Jammu and Kashmir. Blaming the Centre and other concerning authorities, he said, “In February 2017, the coalition government and the Centre decided to fill up two Lok Sabha seats without taking other political parties on board in the decision-making process. The Election Commission was also influenced so much that it is still not able to provide an answer.”
Even now, he said, “they haven’t assessed the ground realities. We met the Governor recently. We felt that the situation may have been created to promote a certain government.”
While saying that the responsibility to conduct an election is solely on the Election Commission of India, Mir asserted that it was the state election commission’s duty to consult law and order enforcement agencies and others before conducting the panchayat elections in the state.
Advocating a free and fair election in the state, Mir said that although “it is the responsibility of the authorities to conduct free and fair election, it cannot happen by simply uttering those two words. One has to ensure on the ground that everything happens in a lawful manner.”
On August 31, the State Administrative Council (SAC) of Jammu and Kashmir had announced that the municipal polls will be held from October 1 to 5, followed by the panchayat elections in November. The decision was taken after a meeting under the chairmanship of Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik.
However, there are news reports that the elections might get deferred to a later date. The reports also suggested that the SAC, headed by Governor Malik, is expected to make an official announcement soon.