Reduce term of J&K assembly to five years, demands BJP

Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday demanded that the term of the state assembly should be reduced from six to five years, saying the state must have laws similar to those enacted by Parliament for the entire country.

“Like other states, Jammu and Kashmir is also an integral part of India. Hence, it should have laws similar to those enacted by the Parliament for the entire country,” BJP spokesperson Balbir Ram Rattan said.

Lashing out at the National Conference (NC), Rattan said people should understand the “dubious role” of the party on the issue.

The BJP spokesperson said that the NC should explain the advantages of keeping the six-year term.

Rattan said the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution under which the term of Parliament and state assemblies was increased to six years by the then Indira Gandhi government at the Centre was immediately adopted by the then NC government led by Sheikh Abdullah in the state.

The same Amendment, when reversed by the Morarji Desai government in 1977, was not adopted by the Jammu and Kashmir government as it did not suit interests of the Valley leaders, Rattan claimed.

Rattan added that since then, the tenure of state assemblies across the country was five years except Jammu and Kashmir.

The BJP leader said their party had always stood for reducing the term of the state assembly to five years and called upon the intellectuals, think tanks and opinion-makers to educate people of the state about “self-interests of family-run political parties” of Kashmir.

“They have always misled people for their vote-bank politics and enjoyed the power for decades, least bothering about interests of the nation in this border state,” Rattan said.

Rattan said that it was an irony that any law that suited “personal interests of Kashmir-centric political parties” was adopted but follow up amendments were rejected.

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