May 2019 News

Delay Assembly Poll By 6 Months: BJP

3 May 2019
The Tribune
Dinesh Manhotra

Jammu: After taking a 'conflicting' position earlier, the BJP on Friday demanded delaying of the Assembly elections in J&K by at least six months to ensure participation of nomadic people in the process. Although senior leaders have been giving ambiguous statements on the issue, the saffron party on Friday deputed its Gujjar leader Abdul Gani Kohli to oppose the elections in June as a group within the party is in favour of delaying the process. Sources said Kohli was asked by senior leaders to oppose the elections in June by highlighting the issue of nomadic population to corner those leaders who have been demanding early polls. 'Holding of the Assembly elections in June will deprive thousands of nomadic people the opportunity to exercise their right to franchise as many of them have already started their seasonal migration from the plains to mountains,' said Kohli, who was a minister in the previous PDP-BJP government. He demanded that the elections should be held in October-November to facilitate maximum participation of nomads. On Wednesday, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had charged the Centre and PDP with delaying the Assembly elections in J&K which is under President's rule. Notably, a BJP faction is trying to get the elections delayed as it wants to do some spade work before the process is initiated. 'Through the Governor's administration, we are trying to get some 'contentious' issues resolved so as to comfortably face the people in the Assembly elections,' a top BJP leader, wishing anonymity, told The Tribune. He added, 'The BJP is aware that in the Lok Sabha elections the party is going to get votes in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but the situation would be entirely different in the Assembly polls.'