Restoration of Political Process, Statehood Key to Normalcy in J-K, Says Cong Leader Karan Singh

The former MP said that law and order is better now, but not everything is under control in the state. (File: PTI)

The former MP said that law and order is better now, but not everything is under control in the state. (File: PTI)

Singh that the although the situation has improved in J-K, still, total normalcy would be achieved only when political process and statehood are restored. He emphasised that the opposition emerging as a strong one is a good thing for democracy.

The political process has to be restored in Jammu and Kashmir, veteran Congress leader Karan Singh said as he batted for early assembly elections in the Union Territory as well as reinstating its statehood.

He also acknowledged that the law and order situation is ”better” in Jammu and Kashmir, saying there has been a cessation of shutdown calls and ”Hurriyat fatwas”. But it cannot be claimed that there is ”100 per cent complete control”, Singh told PTI in an interview.

The Congress leader said that ”at some point in time, the political process has to be restored”. ”Statehood has to be restored. Only then (when statehood and political process is restored), we can say, that total normalcy has set in (Jammu and Kashmir),” Singh said.

He highlighted that panchayat elections have already taken place, and now it is imperative to hold assembly elections as soon as possible.

”It is assembly elections that are to be held now. They should be held as soon as possible. It is for the government to decide when it will do it. That is their prerogative,” Singh said.

In August 2019, the government abrogated Article 370, which granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcated it in Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

To a question on peace and normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir, he said calls for shutdowns and ”Hurriyat fatwas” have ceased, resulting in a better environment.

”The calls (for shutdown) and fatwas of Hurriyat are now shut. Law and order is better. But we cannot say that everything is 100 per cent under control. At any time something could happen. But it (situation) has improved,” Singh said.

The Congress leader also noted that development projects are being implemented in the region and mentioned those for the Dal Lake and under the Smart Cities programme. On the current political developments, Singh said in a democracy, both the government and the opposition should be strong. He viewed the emergence of a robust opposition as a positive development.

”In a democracy, the government should be strong and the opposition should also be strong. It is a good thing that the opposition is emerging as strong,” the Congress leader said.

On whether the June 23 opposition meet in Patna indicated a growing strength of the opposition, Singh suggested that it is too soon to draw conclusions. ”Let us see. Too soon to say. Let us see what will happen in the days to come,” he said.

Over a dozen opposition parties, including the Congress, recently met in Patna, Bihar, to put up a united front against the BJP. Asked about the Jammu and Kashmir LG-led administration’s announcement to grant five marlas of land to the landless, he said if it is a state subject, it is a positive move.

He endorsed the allocation of land to the landless, stressing on the importance of a peaceful process involving cooperation from all parties concerned.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)

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