J&K assembly polls will be held before SC’s Sep 30 deadline: Amit Shah

March 20, 2024
Amit Shah 1

NEW DELHI, Mar 20: Union Minister Amit Shah today said elections in Jammu and Kashmir will be held before the Supreme Court deadline of September 30.

Speaking at CNN-News18 Rising India Summit 2024 in New Delhi, Shah said, “Voting in Jammu and Kashmir will happen before the Supreme Court of India’s deadline of September 30.”

On December 11, 2023, the apex court directed the Election Commission of India (ECI) to conduct elections in Jammu and Kashmir by September 30, 2024.

“We direct that steps shall be taken to conduct elections for the Legislative Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir by September 30, 2024, and statehood shall be restored as soon as possible,” the bench said.

The last Assembly polls in J&K were held in 2014. The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) formed a coalition government with the BJP. But in 2018, the BJP pulled out of the alliance and the government collapsed. Following that, the Assembly was dissolved and the Governor’s Rule came into place.

On August 5, 2019, the Centre abrogated Article 370, and the erstwhile state was bifurcated into the Union Territories (UTs) of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Slamming the opposition, the Union Home Minister, at the summit, also mentioned that those who have denied democracy and welfare to Kashmir for 75 years should be punished.

Talking about BJP’s performance in the upcoming Lok Sabha 2024 elections, Shah said he believes the party will give its best performance to date in Uttar Pradesh and will get more seats than in the 2014 polls.

The minister also stated that India will defeat the ‘parivaar-waad’ parties.

On electoral bonds, Shah said: “The Supreme Court’s decision is binding on all citizens and I respect their verdict on electoral bonds. But my personal opinion is that bonds had almost ended black money in politics. This is why the entire INDIA bloc led by Rahul Gandhi was against the bonds and they wanted the old system of cut money to rule over politics once again.”

Explaining the rationale behind the charge, he said: “Earlier, donations would come in cash. So suppose a person gave Rs 1,500, then Rs 100 would go to the party fund and the rest would go in the party leader’s pocket. Once bonds came, this entire amount would be transferred to the party fund via cheque. This is not what the INDIA bloc was used to. They didn’t care if money was spent on party’s works or elections but their generations should live well.”

The home minister also said the BJP believed in a system of transparency. “In 2014, BJP got 81 percent of donations in cash wherein the donor was not known. In 2018, this number dipped to 17 percent. In 2023, it was only 3 percent. So far as confidentiality is concerned, we have a federal structure and want to avoid a situation where a state government becomes vindictive towards someone who doesn’t give funds to them. So, the confidentiality clause was introduced. We believe in being transparent.”

Rubbishing the charge that the party had amassed huge funds via bonds, Shah said: “We have been accused that we got a lot of money via bonds but so did the INDIA bloc. We have 303 seats, 17 governments, and party units in every state. In 2019, we got a sizeable proportion of funds in bonds when the Model Code of Conduct was in place and no new schemes or policies could be announced. We got more than ninety percent of funds in bonds after the MCC was imposed. So the argument that it was affecting government’s policies is false.”

Taking a dig at Rahul Gandhi, who had termed the bonds as ‘hafta vasooli’, Shah said: “Gandhi also got Rs 1,600 crore. He should explain where he got that ‘hafta vasooli’ from. We say it is a transparent donation but if he says it is vasooli, he should give details.”

Asked if the BJP would declare the list of donors like some parties had, Shah said: “I am telling you that once the details are declared, the INDIA camp will not be able to show its face. Gandhi just reads out speeches from what people write for him. He doesn’t know he has shot himself in the foot.”

The Supreme Court of India struck down the electoral bond scheme on February 15, 2024, calling it “unconstitutional “. The court said the scheme violates the right to information under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution by making anonymous donations to political parties. The court also said that the scheme allows political parties to coerce people to contribute and that it’s “unconstitutional, not fool-proof”.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Discover more from The Kashmir Monitor

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Don't miss a beat! The Kashmir Monitor delivers the latest Kashmir news, sports highlights from every league, political updates, entertainment buzz, and tech innovations happening right now.

Leave a Reply