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And now, debate in Kashmir on one nation one election suggestion
6/23/2019 11:45:35 PM

Early Times Report

JAMMU, June 23: It was expected of Kashmir and it has happened. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi's one nation one election slogan has evoked a reaction from Kashmir Valley on expected lines. The NC, the Congress and some political commentators have all in one voice expressed the view that the one nation one election idea is nothing but a move aimed at eroding the state's special status. The NC has gone to the extent of saying that the Indian Parliament has no right to bring J&K under the ambit of one nation one election regime.
The NC has said that "the State Legislature alone has the powers to change the term of Assembly from six to five years". NC General Secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar has reportedly said that "the idea of one nation, one election can only be a reality in J&K if a constitutional amendment is brought to the State Legislature and the same is passed with the majority". "Reducing the term of Assembly from six to five years is possible only when State Assembly passes the amendment to the Constitution. Since constituent assembly is not in place, the sole prerogative lies with the state Assembly," he was quoted as saying.
NC president Farooq Abdullah, who had attended the all-party meet, had said during the meeting that the "idea should be examined and that it should not affect the federal structure". In other words, his statement suggested that the NC was not clear on the issue. It's, of course, true that he didn't reject out-of-hand idea of one nation one election.
As for the Congress, it has said that it will first study the whole concept of one nation one election and then react. "The Congress will first study the possibility of reducing the terming of State Assembly and then react. We will discuss the issue first," a Congress leader was quoted as saying. The Congress, it needs to be underlined, had not participated in the all-party meeting which the PM held three days ago to evolve consensus on the issue. Almost 30 parties had supported the idea of one nation one election.
The view of political analysts in Kashmir is that any move on the part of New Delhi to bring J&K at par with other states of the Union would simply mean erosion of the special status of the state.
"If the one nation, one election becomes a reality, the term of J&K Assembly will be reduced to five years from six years. J&K is the only state where the term of Assembly is six years while as rest of the country have all assemblies in the States with five year term. The fact is the government led by PM Modi at Centre, have clear intentions to integrate J&K state fully into the union of India. First they have started with the idea of one nation, one election that will bring J&K Assembly at par with the rest of Indian states by coining the idea of one nation, one election," a Kashmir-based political analyst was quoted as saying.
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