Shah to undertake two-day visit to J&K in Sept end, his second this year


JAMMU, Aug 29: Union Home Minister Amit Shah will be visiting Jammu and Kashmir for two days by the end of September to boost political activities of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by addressing three rallies in the Union Territory including two in Jammu division and one in Kashmir valley. The political rallies will be in addition to official itinerary of the Home Minister which will include security review of Jammu and Kashmir.

Senior BJP leaders told the Excelsior that exact dates of Shah’s visit will be worked out in next few days but the visit is scheduled to take place in the end of September. “The Home Minister is understood to have given his consent for the visit. Now, the dates and tour itinerary will be worked out by J&K unit of the BJP and Shah’s office. The dates are expected to be announced shortly,” they said. They added that Shah will be addressing three large political rallies in Jammu and Kashmir, two of them in Jammu region including one in the City and another in one of the other districts to be finalized by the party. One rally has been reserved for Kashmir division.

“The rallies will be aimed at giving boost to political activities of the BJP in Jammu and Kashmir though the Union Territory is unlikely to go to Assembly elections this year. However, with final electoral rolls due to be published on November 25, the polls can be held in April-May next year,” sources said. Besides the three rallies, Shah could also meet senior BJP leaders during an hour-long meeting to discuss political activities of the party and emerging scenario in Jammu and Kashmir. These activities will be apart from official schedule of the Home Minister which could include security review meetings with top officials of security agencies including the Unified Command and visit to certain border areas.

The Home Minister is likely to spend one day each in Jammu and Kashmir divisions during the visit. Earlier, there were indications that Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir might be held in November-December after completion of delimitation of Assembly constituencies in the Union Territory in May. However, the Special Summary Revision ordered by the Election Commission of India has fixed November 25 as deadline for publication of final electoral rolls. This will virtually give no time for holding polls this year and all hopes are now pinned in the months of April-May next year for conduct of elections. The Union Home Ministry also has to take call on number of nomination seats for Kashmiri migrants and Pakistan occupied Jammu Kashmir (PoJK) refugees in the Legislative Assembly as suggested in the Delimitation Commission report.

The Delimitation Commission has recommended nomination of two Kashmiri migrants to the Legislative Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir including one woman. It has also suggested that PoJK refugees could also be nominated to the Assembly but their numbers have not been mentioned. However, Jammu and Kashmir unit of the BJP has proposed nomination of eight PoJK refugees to the Assembly. This will be second visit of Amit Shah to Jammu and Kashmir this year. He visited the Union Territory on March 18 and 19 during which he attended Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Raising Day.

He undertook 4-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir from October 23-26 last year, which was his first to the Union Territory post abrogation of special status of erstwhile State of J&K on August 5, 2019.


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