Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday said all political parties in the state, barring the Peoples Democratic Party, have expressed their support for early elections, PTI reported. Malik, however, clarified that it is the Election Commission of India’s prerogative to decide on the best time to conduct elections.
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.
Malik said the government has sought the opinion of all the stakeholders involved in the matter. He was replying to a query about whether the Lok Sabha and state Assembly polls should be held together because of the security situation in the state. “There is a difference of opinion among political parties [on the timing of the state Assembly polls],” Malik told the news agency. “Some want it to be delayed by two months, others by four, while yet others want it to be held as soon as possible.”
The governor said the Bharatiya Janata Party wants both elections to be held together and that the National Conference had expressed support for polls to be held as soon as possible. “The PDP, however, wants it [Assembly polls] to be delayed.”
He said he personally wants the elections to be held as soon as possible. “I pray the Assembly and Parliament polls are held without any casualty and with the largest possible participation of voters,” Malik said.
The Congress too has spoken in favour of both elections being held together. Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee President Gulam Ahmed Mir said, “The Congress is ready for the polls. We do not want any delay in the assembly polls at all.”