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Shiv Sena predicts delay in Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections, cites BJP's waning popularity
9/3/2023 10:56:58 PM
Early Times Report

JAMMU, Sept 3: The Shiv Sena Jammu and Kashmir unit expressed skepticism regarding the possibility of holding Assembly elections in the region before the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The party attributes this delay to the diminishing popularity of BJP leaders in the state, warning that prolonged postponement of elections could result in a substantial defeat for the ruling party.
Addressing a press conference at the party's state central office, Manish Sahni, President of Shiv Sena J&K unit, asserted that the slogan of 'One Nation, One Election' is also unlikely to be effective in the region. Sahni went on to emphasize that the central government has not shown any positive indications towards restoring the democratic process and statehood in Jammu and Kashmir, hinting at an uncertain future for democracy in the state. He squarely attributed this predicament to the decreasing popularity of BJP leaders in the region.
Sahni highlighted that the BJP's "One Nation, One Election" campaign has failed to quell public dissatisfaction with state leaders. He noted that even the High Court has expressed concerns about the delay in the restoration of the democratic process in Jammu and Kashmir, prompting questions directed at the central government. In response, Sahni pointed out that the Modi government has shifted responsibility for election timing to the Election Commission, though it remains no secret who oversees the Election Commission's functioning. The central government, however, has not provided any specific timeline for the restoration of full statehood.
Sahni underlined the prevailing ground reality, asserting that the BJP has lost the trust of the people in Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370. Despite the controversial move, the region has not witnessed significant improvements in its situation. In light of this, Sahni suggested that the BJP aims to maintain its strong narrative on Article 370 until the Lok Sabha elections.
Additionally, Sahni raised concerns about the municipal elections in Jammu and Kashmir, suggesting that they too could be postponed, alongside the Assembly elections. He pointed out serious discrepancies found in the voter lists of ward-level bodies and panchayat elections in the state. The Election Commission has rescheduled the publication of the voters' list in Jammu and Kashmir for November 25 as the final date.
Sahni concluded by asserting that the BJP appears to be exploring new strategies to delay the elections, recognizing the prevailing public discontent. He cautioned that the longer the elections are postponed, the more significant the potential defeat for the ruling party.
Present at the press conference were Meenakshi Chhibbar, President of the Women's Wing; Chairman Rakesh Gupta; General Secretary Vikas Bakshi; Vice Presidents Sanjeev Kohli, Mamta Devi, and Prabhari Ashwani Prabhakar, as well as Sanjeev Sharma.
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