Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said the government would have no objection if the Election Commission wants to hold Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir along with the General Elections scheduled this year. He made the remark during a discussion in the Rajya Sabha on the imposition of president’s rule in the state last month.
The House passed the resolution with a voice vote. The Lok Sabha had adopted the resolution last week.
Singh also defended the decision to impose president’s rule in the state, The Hindu reported. “After the [state] government fell [in June], the Governor [then NN Vohra] approached all parties at the time,” the minister added. “None of them were in a position to form government. Six months later, it was being said that Congress, PDP [Peoples Democratic Party] and NC [National Conference] were coming together to form government, but the Governor [Satya Pal Malik] had not been told. So, finally he had to recommend proclamation to president.”
The minister objected to the allegations by other members of the House that the Centre was responsible for the current political situation in the state. “Jammu and Kashmir is considered a sensitive state,” Singh said. “Proclamation under Article 356 has not happened for the first time. During Congress rule, it happened several times. Once there was President’s rule for six years at a stretch. Now it is being projected that everything happened due to us and we did not allow any other government. Our intention should not be doubted. There was no such conspiracy.”
Singh also listed the state’s achievements during the governor’s time at the helm of the administration. He said the changes in law made by Satya Pal Malik were in favour of the state unlike what the Opposition has claimed. “Whatever suggestions are there for improving the conditions in the state, I am ready to consider, but to say that we are responsible for the situation is absolutely wrong,” he added.
Governor’s rule was imposed in the state in June with the collapse of the ruling coalition of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Peoples Democratic Party. Malik dissolved the state Assembly on November 21, and upon completion of six months of governor’s rule, president’s rule was imposed on December 19.