Jammu: Dozens of National Panthers Party (NPP) activists on Saturday staged a demonstration here in support of their demand for the restoration of statehood and democracy in Jammu and Kashmir.
The demonstration was led by NPP chairman and former minister Harsh Dev Singh and coincided with the three-day visit of Union Home Minister Amit Shah to J-K.
“We have assembled here to reiterate our demand of restoration of statehood and democracy to J-K,” Singh told reporters.
He said the BJP-led government at the Centre had caused the “greatest embitterment” in the hearts and minds of the people by denigrating the J-K’s status of statehood to a union territory on August 5, 2019.
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He said the past two years witnessed massive public uprisings against the “anti-Jammu and anti-people” policies of the ruling dispensation.
“The economy was worst impacted and development came to a standstill. The arrogant and power intoxicated BJP continued to use the coercive apparatus of the state to silence all those who dared raise their voice for justice and sought fulfillment of promises made by it during elections,” the NPP leader said.
Singh said with the UT remaining under the central rule for the last three and half years, it would be wholly unjustified and unconstitutional to delay and deny elections in J-K.
“Even the Supreme Court had ruled that elections to legislative assemblies in states, where assemblies are prematurely dissolved, should be held within a period of six months,” he said.
Hitting out at the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre and the present dispensation in J-K. Singh alleged that the people were purposely deprived of their right to choose their own representatives and to have an elected government.
“If the municipal, panchayat, and parliamentary elections could be held in J-K. then what was the hitch for the Election Commission to conduct the assembly elections?” Singh questioned.