The BJP on Saturday hinted that assembly elections in the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir will be held by the beginning of 2022 to install a democratically elected government.
"We are confident that assembly elections will be held by the start of the next year because the Union Government has repeated assured to install a democratic government in J&K," Ravinder Raina, president of J&K BJP, said.
Before the beginning of the crucial meeting of the election management of the J&K unit of the party, Raina said that process of redrawing assembly constituencies in J&K will be completed by the end of this year.
"The Delimitation Commission will complete its task this year followed by assembly elections in J&K," he said while referring towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Independence Day address this year. Raina asserted that BJP is well prepared to participate in the assembly elections.
Prime Minister promised early elections in J&K
During this year's Independence Day address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced from the rampart of the Red Fort that preparations were underway for holding assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir in the future.
"Giving fair opportunities to the potential of all, this is the real spirit of democracy. Be it Jammu or Kashmir, where the balance of development is now visible on the ground," the Prime Minister announced.
"The Delimitation Commission has been constituted in Jammu and Kashmir and preparations are on for holding assembly elections in the future," the Prime Minister said on the occasion of 75th Independence Day.
Earlier during the all-party meeting held on June 24, PM Modi had promised to speed up the delimitation process so as to hold assembly elections in J&K.
"Our priority is to strengthen grassroots democracy in J&K. Delimitation has to happen at a quick pace so that polls can happen and J&K gets an elected Government that gives strength to J&K's development trajectory," the Prime Minister had stated after the all-party meeting.
Delimitation panel has already received feedback from all stakeholders
To expedite the process of redrawing parliament and assembly constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir, the Delimitation Commission had visited Union Territory from July 6 to July 9 to get first-hand information from the grassroots.
During a three-day-long stay in J&K, members of the panel interacted with all stakeholders including political parties, officers, and public representatives.
The decision of the Delimitation Commission to visit J&K was important follow-up development of the all-party meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 24 with leaders of different political parties of the UT.
Panel to redraw assembly constituencies set-up in 2020
The Delimitation Commission for Jammu and Kashmir, headed by retired Supreme Court Judge Ranjana Prakash Desai was constituted by the Union Government on March 6, 2020, to redraw assembly constituencies of the Union Territory in accordance with the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which bifurcated the erstwhile state into union territories of J&K and Ladakh.
The elections to the Assembly of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will be held only after the process of delimitation is completed.
Delimitation Commission on June 23 held consultations with all Deputy Commissioners of J&K on restructuring the existing assembly constituencies and carving out seven new seats. In the virtual meeting, inputs were gathered on how to make the assembly seats more geographically compact.
Last Assembly elections were held in 2014
The last assembly elections in the erstwhile state of J&K were held in November-December 2014 in which BJP emerged as a strong force by winning 25 seats in the 87-member House.
PDP had emerged as the single largest party with 28 MLAs, National Conference 15, and Congress 12. As no single party was in a position to form the government on its own, BJP had entered into an alliance with PDP, and a coalition government headed by late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was formed.
After the untimely death of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in January 2016, his daughter and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti took oath as the Chief Minister on April 4, 2016.
However, on June 19, 2018, BJP pulled out of the coalition regime headed by Mehbooba Mufti and the erstwhile state plunged into political instability. On November 21, 2018, the then Governor Satya Pal Malik had dissolved the assembly.