Parties should cooperate in delimitation exercise for early elections in J-K: LG

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JAMMU, Feb 22 (PTI): Lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha on Monday said political parties should cooperate in the completion of the delimitation exercise if they want early elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Those who want early assembly elections in J-K are requested to help and cooperate with the delimitation commission, instead of making excuses,” Sinha told reporters.

He was asked about the demand raised by the PDP and the NC for holding early assembly polls.

The Delimitation Commission met on Thursday to seek suggestions from the associate members on the process of delimitation of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Associate members are lawmakers from their respective states who assist the delimitation panel in redrawing parliamentary and assembly constituencies.

However, National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah, Mohammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi skipped the meeting.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti had said the Centre was “railroading” delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir with a “tearing hurry” that raised serious apprehensions about the motives of the exercise.

Asked as to when the polls could be held in J-K, the lieutenant governor said the election commission will decide on it once the delimitation exercise is completed.

“There are constitutional institutions in India. The decision is taken by the election commission. Let the work related to delimitation get completed, the commission will definitely conduct elections,” he said.

On some politicians “boycotting” the proceedings of the Delimitation Commission, the LG said they must understand that if they want early polls, the delimitation process has to be first completed.

The LG said that “the prime minister has assured the entire nation (on holding polls) and you have seen reports in newspapers that the Delimitation Commission has begun its work”.

Jammu and Kashmir is a Union territory with provisions for a legislature. At present, it is under central rule.

Replying to queries on NC and PDP leaders calling for dialogue between India and Pakistan, the LG said India is capable of solving its problems.

“I don’t want to react to someone’s statement. The ministry of external affairs assesses this. India is capable of solving its own problems,” Sinha said.

He also condemned the recent attacks on policemen by terrorists and said that terrorism won’t be allowed to grow at any cost.

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