Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir’s major political parties met opposition parties on Thursday and urged the Election Commission of India for an early assembly election by submitting a memorandum that says the Himalayan region has been without an elected government for the last five years and an unaccountable bureaucracy runs the administration.
The signatories of the memorandum include National Conference president, Farooq Abdullah, Indian National Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, CPI Communist Party of India (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, NCP (Nationalist Congress Party) chief Sharad Pawar and other senior leaders.
The memorandum reads that Jammu and Kashmir is without a legislative assembly and an elected government for the last five years.
“In disregard of the letter and spirit of the Constitution, an unrepresentative and unaccountable bureaucracy is allowed to run the government to the discomfort and inconvenience of the general public,“ it reads.
The panchayat elections and elections to other PRIs cannot be substitute for legislative assembly elections and the government and for that matter, the ECI cannot avoid and delay assembly elections on that ground, it said.
“Had it been so, there would be no need to conduct assembly elections in states, that the ECI is with due dispatch and punctuality, as is evident from recently held assembly elections in Meghalaya, Tripura, and Nagaland and the elections scheduled to be held in Karnataka.”
It added in each case the argument though, inherently specious, could have been that as PRIs were in place there was no need to hold assembly elections.”
“The Hon'ble Home Minister and other functionaries of the Government of India have more than once stated that the government is ready to facilitate the conduct of assembly elections and the final call is to be taken by the Election Commission of India.”
It reads the Election Commission of India is under a constitutional obligation to hold assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir and delay in and denial of assembly elections would amount to a denial of fundamental and democratic rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and a breach of constitutional obligations.
“We however reiterate that the assembly election would be the first and important step towards the restoration of all the constitutional rights guaranteed in the constitution of India and fulfillment of political aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” it reads.
The memorandum reads, “We the signatories to this memorandum representing different political parties of Jammu and Kashmir and various national political parties implore and request the Hon'ble Election Commission of India to announce the assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir without any further delay and notify the election schedule so that the democratic rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and access to democratic institutions is restored.”