Breaking News:-

BJP has suspended all tiers of democracy in Jammu and Kashmir: Jairam Ramesh

NEW DELHI: Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the latter's visit to Jammu and Kashmir's Udhampur, saying that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has suspended all tiers of democracy and refused to hold fresh elections.

"Today, the PM heads to Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir. In their attempt to retain power in the erstwhile state, the BJP government has now suspended almost all tiers of democracy, and refuses to hold fresh elections. PM Modi must answer for his suspension of democracy," Ramesh said in a post on 'X'.

The senior Congress leader pointed out that Jammu and Kashmir has been without an elected government ever since the BJP withdrew support from the Mehbooba Mufti government in 2018.

"The erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir has been under direct rule of the Union Government ever since the BJP withdrew support to the Mehbooba Mufti government in 2018, citing a "deteriorating security situation". The people of Jammu and Kashmir have been left without an elected government since then," Ramesh said.

"Four seats in the Rajya Sabha also remain vacant because of the delay in holding assembly polls," he added.

On the Supreme Court asking the Centre to hold polls in Jammu and Kashmir by September 2024, Ramesh said, "The Centre has often blamed the Election Commission of India for the delay in holding elections but now the Chief Election Commissioner has turned around and blamed the Centre for the delay after 2022's delimitation exercise. Eventually, the Supreme Court had to step in and give the Centre a deadline of September 2024 to conduct the polls."

Attacking BJP for postponing polls in the state, the senior Congress leader said, "Why has the BJP waited so long to conduct polls in the state? Are they afraid of the verdict of the people? How long will the PM cling to power in a state where the people never chose him as their leader?"

Ramesh further said that after the terms of Panchayats and Block Development Councils ended on January 9, elections have not been held in the state.

"The terms of 4,892 Panchayats and 316 Block Development Councils (2nd and 3rd tiers of Panchayati Raj) came to an end on January 9. With the terms of urban local bodies having ended last November, the people of Jammu and Kashmir no longer have elected representatives on most levels of Government. Once again, the ruling BJP has been unwilling to hold fresh elections in the state. Why has PM Modi so ruthlessly suppressed the will of the people?" the Congress leader said.

Slamming Union Home Minister Amit Shah for promising restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir, the Congress General Secretary asked him whether this promise will also be delayed till it is favourable for the BJP.

"In his speech in Parliament on December 11, 2023, Home Minister Amit Shah said that full statehood to Jammu and Kashmir would be restored at an "appropriate time". Like the assembly and panchayat polls, will this commitment also be delayed till the time is "appropriate" for the BJP?" the Congress leader added.

Ramesh further said that despite the announcement of the new industrial policy, only 414 units have been registered and actual investment on the ground is Rs 2,518 crores.

"The new industrial policy announced in January 2021, along with the abrogation of Article 370, was supposed to usher in "development and progress. However, to date, only 414 units have been registered and actual investment on the ground is just Rs 2,518 crores," the senior Congress leader said.

On the dismal performance of the state in the hospitality sector, Ramesh said, "Although there was much optimism about the hospitality sector, only 87 crores of investment proposals have been received till date. Where is all of the "development and progress" that PM Modi had promised?"


Fast, accurate and updated real time local news is available on your smartphone and tablet.