PDP leader on Lt Governor’s remarks: ‘How can J&K elections be held when political leaders detained in hordes’

Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor G C Murmu.
Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor G C Murmu.

A PDP leader has strongly objected to J&K Lieutenant Governor G C Murmu’s remarks that the process for Assembly elections could begin soon in the Union Territory. “How can elections be held in a situation when leaders of major political groups have been detained in hordes,” PDP leader Parvez Wafa asked.

Terming the proposition to conduct elections in the state “unjustified, ironic and uncalled for,” Wafa said that since the leadership of major political parties and important office leaders are under detention, “the idea of holding polls itself loses relevance and is contrary to democratic ideas”.

“Since in a democratic setup, polls are a part of mechanism which delegates power to the people to choose their representatives, it is the duty of the state to ensure free and fair elections,” Wafa said.

Urging authorities to release the detained leaders “at the earliest”, the PDP leader said there is a rhetoric focussed on Kashmir since August 5, when the Centre decided to revoke special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370, and said it is ironic that nobody is talking about Jammu.

Murmu had on Thursday said the Assembly election process would begin soon in the newly-created Union Territory.

Addressing police personnel at the passing out parade of new recruits at the Police Training Centre in Talwara near Reasi, Murmu had said, “Elections will also begin in the Union Territory. This is a centrally-ruled place, but it has a legislature as well. Do not think that it will continue as it is. An exercise to hold elections at the earliest will be held soon and you people will have a role in it.”

Murmu’s remarks were his first at a public event since assuming charge as Lt Governor of the Union Territory of J&K.