Home Minister Rajnath Singh today asserted that the government is willing to hold elections in Jammu and Kashmir along with General Elections which are slated to be held by May. It may be recalled that the Jammu and Kashmir was recently placed under President’s rule, six months after the BJP pulled out of Mehbooba Mufti-led government, paving way to put the state under Governor’s rule.
The Home Minister said that if the Election Commission plan to hold elections in the state along with general elections, the government will have no objection. Speaking in Rajya Sabha replying to a debate on proclamation of imposition of Central rule in the state, he said that there would be no obstruction from the Centre for holding elections in the state.
.”We are willing to provide whatever security force Election Commission wants for holding elections there” he said. After 1996, this is the first time the Central rule has been imposed in the militancy-hit state. Strongly rejecting opposition accusations, he said that there was no conspiracy not to allow any other party to form the government in the state. In his report to the Centre, he said that the Governor clearly stated that there was no initiative by political parties to form an alternate government.
He also made it clear that the BJP and the government are not responsible for the sense of alienation which has been there since independence as no one worked to address that. “We do not want any sense of alleniation in people of the state. We want to minimise it and neutralise any sense of alleniation.”Singh added. He recalled that the government supported an all-party delegation holding talks with separatist Hurriyat but their doors were shut.
The Home Minister said he had told the chief minister Mufti to try and speak to Hurriyat. “We were ready for unconditional talks. They did not respond to our initiative.” He reeled out statistics on employment of locals in security forces to counter opposition charge that unemployment was creating unrest in the Valley.