New Delhi, feb, 21: Elections in Kashmir will be held within six to eight months of the delimitation exercise being wrapped up in the Union Territory, Home Minister Amit Shah has said in an exclusive interview to Network18 Group Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi.
“The delimitation exercise is about to get over. After that, within six-eight months, the elections will be held. There is no confusion,” Amit Shah said.
Asked about Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent statement that New Delhi and Islamabad should resolve their issues, especially Kashmir, together, Shah said: “Kashmir is an integral part of India. There is no point of discussion there.
It is a part of India. This is the position taken by all governments in Parliament. This is the country’s position.”
The Home Minister also criticised Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s recent statement in Parliament that the Narendra Modi’s government Kashmir policies had brought Pakistan and China closer.
“Rahul Gandhi doesn’t know the history of this country. He doesn’t know what happened in 1962 and because of whom.
The Narendra Modi government has given strong reply to every challenge posed by China,” Amit Shah said in the interview.
Gandhi had made the statement in the Lok Sabha on February 3 during the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s address.
“The Narendra Modi government has protected the borders and sovereignty of the country. I don’t think these kind of statements about neighbouring countries should be made by any national leader.
I want to ask him, you are saying all this in Parliament, but you break all protocols to meet a Chinese delegation.
What do you discuss with them? Such statements show there is a dearth of serious politicians,” Shah said.
It was speculated earlier this month that the Delimitation Commission, mandated to redraw the Assembly constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir, is likely to get a two-month extension.
The term of the panel is coming to an end in early March.
Headed by former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, the panel has Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and the state election commissioner of Jammu and Kashmir as its ex-officio members.
In its draft report shared with its five associated members — all Lok Sabha members from Jammu and Kashmir — the delimitation panel has proposed an overhaul of Assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies in the Union Territory. Jammu and Kashmir at present has no Legislative Assembly. It is a UT with a provision for a legislature (Courtesy:News18)