The Election Commission today in a press release said that it will consider the state assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir later this year. The schedule for the same will be announced after the Amarnath Yatra is concluded.
The Jammu and Kashmir state assembly was dissolved in November last year after parties sent letters to the Governor via Twitter, WhatsApp staking claim to form the government. The state has been under the Governor’s rule since June last year.
In November last year, the former chief minister and Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti had confirmed the speculations that the party is getting support from National Conference and Congress to form a government in the state. Media and Social Media was abuzz with speculations about this possible alliance. Mufti had taken to Twitter to post a copy of the letter she has written to the Governor of J&K to inform about the alliance. She accused that she was unable to send the letter via fax to the Raj Bhavan, and the Governor was not available on phone. Therefore, she tweeted the letter on Twitter, tagging the official Twitter account of J&K Governor.
On the other hand, People’s Conference leader Sajad Lone had also sent a letter to the Governor staking claim to form a government with the support of BJP. Lone also had informed that fax at the Raj Bhavan was not working hence he had sent the letter via Whatsapp to the PA of the Governor.
After the assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir in 2014, no party had won a majority to form a government. PDP had won 28 seats, BJP was in the second position with 25, while NC and Congress had won 15 and 12 seats. As no party or alliance was able to form a government, Governor’s rule was imposed in the state in December 2014. In March in the following year, PDP and BJP decided to form an alliance and PDP leader and Mufti Mohammad Sayeed sworn in as the chief minister. Mufti Mohammad Sayeed died in January 2016, and his daughter Mehbooba Mufti became the CM in April 2016, after a brief Governor’s rule. But there were serious differences between the alliance partners, especially on the handling of separatists by the Mehbooba government. In June last year, BJP had pulled out of the coalition government and the state was put under Governor’s rule again.