Opposition members in parliament seek timeframe for Assembly polls in J&K

Opposition members in the Lok Sabha pressed for a clear timeline regarding assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir during discussions on two bills related to the region on Tuesday. 

Home Minister Amit Shah introduced the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 for consideration and passing in the Lok Sabha, where both bills were deliberated simultaneously.

In the debate, initiated by Congress member Amar Singh, opposition representatives criticized the government’s delay in conducting elections in Jammu and Kashmir. They highlighted the government’s emphasis on improved law and order in the region but expressed concern over the absence of assembly elections.

Several members, including Saugata Roy from the Trinamool Congress, urged the government to announce a definitive timeframe for the forthcoming polls in Jammu and Kashmir. Roy emphasized the need to reinstate the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir and questioned the rationale behind making significant changes without a functioning Legislative Assembly in place.

He pointed out the unprecedented conversion of a state into a Union Territory under Home Minister Amit Shah’s tenure and questioned the necessity of these changes without an elected legislative body. Roy urged the government to prioritize conducting elections in Jammu and Kashmir rather than hastily implementing alterations in the region. The Home Minister is expected to address these concerns and respond to the debate on Wednesday.