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Jammu and Kashmir: Heading for Elections in 2022

2022 is widely expected to be a year of elections in the Union Territory of Jammu (UT) and Kashmir.

As per central government plans that have not been expressly stated but are well known otherwise, after submission and acceptance of the Delimitation Commission reports wherein the draft may go in for minor changes, the stage will be set for state elections which may be announced and possibly held during the summers.

Thus, Home Minister Mr Amit Shah has held a meeting of all security stakeholders in Delhi recently where an assessment of the situation may have been provided to further take decisions on the timing of the polls.

As per the Ministry of Home Affairs Press release on the occasion, Lieutenant Governor of Jammu & Kashmir, Shri Manoj Sinha, the National Security Advisor, Shri AjitDoval and other senior officers of the Government of India, including the Army Chief and Jammu & Kashmir Government attended the meeting.

Shri Amit Shah appreciated the efforts of the security agencies which have led to the reduction in terror incidents in Jammu & Kashmir over the last few years.

The number of terror incidents has declined from 417 in 2018 to 229 in 2021, while the number of security forces personnel martyred has reduced from 91 in 2018 to 42 in 2021. The Union

Home Minister directed that the security grid should be further strengthened to ensure zero cross-border infiltration and to eliminate terrorism.

What may not have been revealed is a discussion of the security grid for upcoming polls in the UT.

After the polls and installation of a popular government which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hopes to be one led by its party which has a majority in the Jammu belt, restoration of statehood of the UT will be declared while Ladakh is expected to remain a UT.

Sensing the Central Government’s plans political activity in Jammu and Kashmir has gathered momentum even as the harsh winter has softened.

Greater Kashmir reported that political leaders in Kashmir have moved to Jammu and contacted respective party workers and supporters. National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah, PCC chief G A Mir, Apni Party president Syed Muhammad Altaf Bukhari, and some PDP leaders and their statements

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad' s four day visit-though private- is also likely to give a fillip to political activities as per Greater Kashmir.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti addressed a function organised by her party at Surankote in Poonch while the party’s leaders who had resigned seem to be back what they claim as home.

Greater Kashmir reported that Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura, senior leader, who had recently resigned from the post of general secretary of PDP, also announced his comeback while in Jammu. Lone said he is back as general secretary and member political affairs committee since party president Mehbooba Mufti did not accept his resignation and that all the differences were sorted out amicably.

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