BJP ready for assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir, EC needs to take decision: Union min Jitendra Singh

“As far as the BJP is concerned, we are ready for the polls any time, whether it is today or a few months later,” the minister said.
BJP ready for assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir, EC needs to take decision: Union min Jitendra Singh

Union minister Jitendra Singh on Monday said the BJP is ready to hold assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir but a final decision on the matter needs to be taken by the Election Commission after considering security related concerns.

In an interview to PTI, he slammed "so-called mainstreampolitical parties" like the PDP and the NC in Jammu and Kashmir for theirdoublespeak on the situation in Kashmir. He also cited the Balakot air striketo compliment the Modi government for showing consistency and firmness indealing with terrorist acts.

On the issue of "Hindu terror", Singh, who is also ministerof state in the Prime Minister's Office, said the Congress and its allies areguilty of giving a religious colour to terrorism and asserted that there is no"good or bad terrorism".

"… Let me put it on record. The BJP has been sayingterrorism is terrorism and it has no religion and colour.

 "No distinctionshould be made in good or bad terror. The Hindu terror phrase or term wascoined by them (opposition parties, including Congress). Therefore, it is theCongress party and its allies who are guilty of giving religious colour toterrorism by saying so," Singh said.

The BJP leader said the BJP's candidate Pragya Singh Thakur,who is accused in the Malegaon blasts case, will win the Bhopal parliamentaryseat against Congress' Digvijay Singh hands down.

Terming the Aam Aadmi Party's promise of ensuring fullstatehood for Delhi if it is voted to power an "untruth", he said theArvind Kejriwal-led party has never acted on its words.

 "The BJP willconsider all issues (including statehood) related to the national capital in avery judicious manner," the minister said.

Discussing Jammu and Kashmir, the MP from Udhampur said theBJP is always ready for any election, be it panchayat, local body, assembly orparliamentary.

 "As far as the timingof the assembly elections is concerned, the decision and discretion of that isabsolutely with the Election Commission of India. The allegations by certainpolitical parties of the BJP delaying the election are completely baseless,"the minister said.

He said it is for the Election Commission to gather requiredinputs based on security  factors andthen take a call on the dates.

 "As far as the BJP isconcerned, we are ready for the polls any time, whether it is today or a fewmonths later," the minister said.

Jammu and Kashmir has not had an elected government sincethe PDP-BJP coalition government fell apart in June 2018.

The state was placed under Governor's Rule on June 19, 2018after the BJP withdrew from its coalition with the PDP.

As mandated by the Constitution, the state was brought underPresident's rule on December 19, 2018. President's rule has been extended for aperiod of six months till May 19, 2019, or till an elected government is put inplace, whichever is earlier.

To a question on abrogation of Article 370, which givesspecial status to Jammu and Kashmir, he quoted statements made by BJP presidentAmit Shah and said,  "Abrogation ofArticle 370 continues to be part of BJP's agenda.  Once we get sufficient majority in both thehouses of the Parliament we will go ahead with it."

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