Assembly polls in J and K possible along with LS elections

By  IANS | Updated:  Jan 24, 2019, 11:30 AM

The decks seem to have been cleared for holding Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir along with the Lok Sabha polls following a positive feedback received by the Centre from various agencies.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had sought views from the stake holders to give an assessment of the ground situation.
All the political parties barring the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had favoured simultaneous polls and the Election Commission may also be in favour of holding the polls but is yet to take a final call. 
Home Minister Rajnath Singh had told Parliament recently that the Centre had no objections if the Commission favoured Assembly polls simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections.
The security agencies have given their nod to the Centre saying they have no objections as delaying the polls will not serve any purpose. There is also a view that the turnout could be less if the polls are held separately which can be exploited by the separatists to spread negative propaganda about the entire exercise. 
Sources said the inputs given by the agencies have been shared with the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
The Centre had imposed President's rule in Jammu and Kashmir on December 19, 2018 on the recommendation of Governor Satya Pal Malik, who dissolved the assembly in a dramatic turn of events leading to a political impasse. 
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had walked out of the coalition with the People's Democratic Party (PDP) on June 19, 2018 leading to the collapse of the state government led by Mehbooba Mufti who became the chief minister on April 4, 2016.

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