Srinagar, Apr 18: Former Deputy Chief Minister J&K, Muzaffar Hussain Baig on Tuesday said that assembly elections and restoration of statehood will likely be in place after new government formation will take place at Centre. He said abrogation of Article 370 and 35(A) was an extraordinary decision of Government of India to deal with extraordinary situation. KNS reported that former Deputy CM Muzaffar Hussain Baig said: “I think neither assembly elections will be held nor statehood to J&K will be returned back until there is new government formation in the Centre”. “GoI want huge participation of people in forthcoming elections here so they will take some steps including restoration of statehood after 2024 elections across the country. The huge participation of people in polls is possible only once they will restore statehood to J&K, so GoI will give it back after 2024 elections at the centre,” he said.He said since article 370 and 35(A) revoked, Kashmir has witnessed no rebellion against India. “The people didn’t not indulge in stone pelting and other things. 100 welfare schemes have been implemented in J&K which were not executed earlier. I feel there will be a huge participation of people in upcoming elections whenever it will be held,” he said.To a query, the former Deputy CM said some people termed the present situation in J&K as “peace of graveyard” which is not reality. “With near elimination of militancy people of J&K & particularly people of Kashmir are in a positive frame of mind. People have adopted realistic approach. For peace in J&K, I give credit to people as they chose the path of realistic politics to let peace prevail here. People of J&K are live and conscious, but some elements are trying to distort figures. People are heaving sigh of relief from militancy,” he said.
He said the local political leaders should keep their tune low against New Delhi. “Our politicians at this juncture should think about the interest of people instead of gaining personal points. Elections cannot be held in an overnight. It needs some steps to be taken on ground, and GoI is working on that,” he said.When asked about former CM J&K Ghulam Nabi Azad’s quit from Congress, Baig said he may have not received such importance from present leadership in the Congress which he was receiving since the times of Indira Gandhi. “He was dear of Indira Gandhi. His quit from the Congress was not only an emotional step but he was willing to work for their own people at local level. He is a true nationalist,” Baig said.About abrogation of Article 370 and 35(A), the former Deputy CM said extraordinary situation demands extraordinary decisions. “People were getting killed due to militancy and government took an extraordinary decision and at the same time it introduced positive and welfare schemes for people”.
About Gupkar Alliance which was formed to fight for restoration of Statehood to J&K, the former Deputy CM said “The draft of Gupkar declaration was given by me and former-politician-turned-IAS officer Shah Faisal wrote the draft. This was an act of hope but practically that could not be implemented”.