Statehood to Jammu and Kashmir would be granted ‘at an appropriate time’: Centre

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The Union home ministry told the Parliament on Wednesday that J&K would be given statehood “at an appropriate time”. Minister of state for home affairs Nityanand Rai made the statement

The Union home ministry told the Parliament on Wednesday that Jammu and Kashmir would be given statehood “at an appropriate time”. Minister of state for home affairs Nityanand Rai made the statement in response to a question from Congress lawmaker Vivek Tankha.

Tankha sought to know whether a timeline was chalked out to grant statehood to the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

“Statehood to Jammu and Kashmir would be granted at an appropriate time,” Rai said in a written statement in the Lok Sabha.

Tankha also asked whether a timeline was planned to hold elections in the two Union Territories. In response, Rai said the decision to schedule polls there is the prerogative of the Election Commission of India.

In October, while speaking in Srinagar after a meeting to review the security situation in the Kashmir valley, Union home minister Amit Shah had said that Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood would be restored soon after the delimitation process and subsequent elections.

Earlier, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah said the government broke its promise that there would be no extension to the Jammu and Kashmir Delimitation Commission beyond March 6. He also urged the government to first grant statehood and then conduct polls there.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad last month compared the scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood with demoting a chief minister to the post of a member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA).

In June, Congress leader Randeep Surjewala had said the Centre should accept the demand for restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir in line with the Constitution and democracy.

Congress leader P. Chidambaram had tweeted, “The Congress Party’s position, reiterated yesterday, that full statehood must be restored to J&K should clear any doubt or ambiguity. What was made under the Constitution cannot be unmade by an Act of Parliament misinterpreting and misusing the provisions of the Constitution.”

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