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Five Seats, Five Phase: What For Kashmir After Lok Sabha Polls?

Polling dates for Lok Sabha and assembly elections for four states have been announced whereas for Kashmir, the election commission still has assurance to give in the name of assembly elections.

Edited By : Riwa Singh | Updated: Mar 16, 2024 21:05 IST
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Election in Jammu Kashmir
Election in Jammu Kashmir

Assembly elections will happen in Kashmir after the Lok Sabha elections, the Election Commission of India has assured. While 26 seats have bagged the dates for by-polls and four states namely Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and Sikkim have been given dates for the assembly elections, all that Kashmir has been bestowed by is an assurance.

Assurance is such a positive word, assurance brings hope, and hopes bring joy. And even if it isn’t fulfilled, it can be forgotten for it was an assurance, who called it a promise?

The election commission has said that assembly elections for Kashmir can’t be held with the Lok Sabha elections for security reasons. For the same security reasons, Kashmir was made a cantonment and parliamentary polls for five regions are scheduled to take place in five phases.

Thankfully, things have changed for the better for the natives of Kashmir. There could have been no better chance for showcasing the valley as a secure and serene beauty than the G20 events.

But Kashmir needs to breathe, it can’t live on house arrests, it needs elections for the sake of the very same democracy that runs India. Politicians are looking forward to elections, yes, those politicians too who used to call boycotts for polls.

The geography and the polity of the northernmost part of India, Jammu and Kashmir, has completely changed after the previous Lok Sabha elections in 2019. The history that August 5 scripted for the state divided the region into two and carved out Ladakh as a union territory.

Scrapping of Article 370 made Jammu and Kashmir an integral part of India without any ‘special status’ that would play the differentiating element. Kashmir is as much Indian as Karnataka or Kerala.

Manoj Sinha had been inducted in the territory as lieutenant governor, veteran leaders like Farooq Abdullah said a month ago – “who won’t want to join hands with Narendra Modi and Amit Shah?” Though he molded his statement later, maybe for the sake of the INDIA alliance, if not this moment, when will the government find the best time to see elections there?

Also read: Lok Sabha 2024: Polling Dates For West Bengal, Constituency Details And More

The Supreme Court has ordered the election commission to organise polls in Kashmir before September 30, 2024. The ECI has no escape to it but does it have a plan? Only time will unfold this mystery. For now, Kashmir is going to have polls to choose its government at centre. June 4 will answer how much Kashmiris liked the abrogation of an article that changed their lives.

First published on: Mar 16, 2024 08:54 PM IST

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