Minutes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted to famous people to help bring more people out to vote in the April-May national election, Jammu and Kashmir politician Omar Abdullah accused the centre of running the state under Governor’s rule.
Mr Abdullah, who is vice-President of the National Conference, said that the Modi government has “consciously disenfranchised” the people in his state by not holding the assembly elections.
“Dear @narendramodi Sahib, it is good to see you appealing to famous people to increase voter turnout however at the same time your government has consciously disenfranchised people in J&K by not holding Assembly elections on time,” Mr Abdullah tweeted.
The people enjoy the right to choose an elected government, as opposed to being governed by a “hand picked nominee of the central government”, he said.
Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, while announcing the dates for the Lok Sabha polls, had pointed out constraints in the availability of central forces, other logistics and recent incidents of violence as the reason for not holding assembly elections alongside national polls. “We will have to carry out three phases of election for just one constituency of Anantnag… so you can imagine how complicated it is,” he added.
The Election Commission’s decision had set off an avalanche of criticism in the Kashmir Valley.
In a series of tweets, Mr Abdullah targeted the NDA government, questioning how the government could have been contemplating holding simultaneous elections at states and the centre, he tweeted:
Jammu and Kashmir has been under Governor’s Rule after the BJP ended the ruling alliance with Mehbooba Mufti’s People’s Democratic Party.
In November, Governor Satyapal Malik had dissolved the state assembly after rival claimed to form government by Mehbooba Mufti — who had the support of Omar Abdullah and the Congress — and Sajad Lone, whose two-member party was backed by the BJP.