Srinagar, Sept 26 (KNS): As political parties prepare for ULB and Panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir, security agencies have raised concerns to higher authorities in New Delhi, citing a large conspiracy being hatched across the LoC to target political workers in Kashmir during ULB and Panchayat elections.
Top sources from New Delhi told Wire Service- Kashmir News Service (KNS) that due to these apprehensions, it would not be possible for the government to proceed with ULB and Panchayat Elections and most likely ULB elections and Panchayat elections will be deferred, even the chances of Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir are very bleak, and only Parliamentary elections will be held in J&K in 2024.
New Delhi has taken serious note of recent militant attacks in Rajouri, Poonch, and Kokernag. “Pakistani militants may target innocent Kashmiris during elections, so it was decided that there will be no ULB and Assembly elections in J&K until Parliamentary elections are held in 2024,” he told KNS and added, “New Delhi believes human lives are more important than elections.”
“Although there is currently no local support for terrorists in Kashmir, Pakistani (foreign) terrorists are conspiring to target innocent people and may attack Kashmiris in large numbers during ULB and Assembly elections,” a top BJP leader quoted a senior intelligence officer as saying in the meeting.
He said the lives of Kashmiris are much more important than elections, and the government is committed to rooting out terrorism from Kashmir as a top priority. “The government cannot put the people of Kashmir at the mercy of terrorists. Ensuring the safety and security of the people of J&K is the government’s highest priority,” he said.
However, he added that the J&K BJP Unit is fully prepared for all types of elections, including ULB, Panchayat, Assembly, and Parliamentary elections, but the security and safety of the people are more important than conducting polls.
However sources said that Chief Election Commissioner B R Sharma and Chief Electoral Officer J&K Pandurang K Pole will take a final call on holding the polls in the UT after a thorough consultation with security agencies.
Notably, KNS reported a few days ago that the Central Government is of the opinion that ULB elections need to be deferred and likely held after Parliamentary elections, expected to take place in April – May 2024.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah chaired a high-level meeting of Jammu and Kashmir BJP’s core group at his residence in New Delhi on Monday to assess the ground situation and party functioning ahead of the local body polls in the Union Territory and the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Sources also told KNS that the meeting was attended by BJP National President JP Nadda, J&K incharge Tarun Chugh, BJP J&K President Ravinder Raina, former Deputy Chief Ministers of J&K Dr. Nirmal Singh, Kavinder Gupta, Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh, Devender Singh Rana, Ashok Koul, Dr. Devender Manyal, Jugal Kishore Sharma (MP Jammu) Vibdoh Gupta, Sunil Sharma and Sat Pal Sharma. (KNS)