Before sounding the poll bugle ahead of the urban local bodies and panchayat polls in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Union Home Minister Amit Shah Monday chaired the Core group meeting of J&K BJP leaders to take stock of the party’s overall poll preparedness.
“We are ready for elections”, the J&K BJP leaders informed the Home Minister during the first round of over 90-minute-long meeting convened at his residence.
However, a section of BJP leaders who attended the meeting also suggested that the ULB/panchayat polls can be deferred and conducted only after the Lok Sabha polls.
The meeting was also attended by BJP president JP Nadda, BJP general secretary incharge of Jammu and Kashmir Tarun Chugh and co-incharge Ashish Sood. Members of the BJP’s J&K Core group headed by J&K unit chief Ravinder Raina, organisational secretary Ashok Koul, both the Members of Parliament from Jammu region Dr Jitendra Singh (MoS PMO) and Jugal Kishore attended the brainstorming session and reviewed the party’s poll preparedness.
A senior BJP leader from Jammu who attended the meeting told The Pioneer that the Union Home Minister holds quarterly review meetings along with the party’s Core group to take stock of the progress of ongoing organisational activities.
Referring to the urban local bodies elections/panchayat polls, the BJP leader said that the first round of the meeting took place in the afternoon while the second round is scheduled to take place in the evening.
The decision to hold the ULB/panchayat polls will be taken later by the concerned election authorities.
“We have apprised the Union Home Minister about the political scenario in Jammu and Kashmir that we are ready for elections”.
The Union Home Ministry is expected to review the prevailing security situation separately before taking a final call on holding the polls before the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. The ULB/panchayat polls are due in Jammu and Kashmir between October and December.
The municipal elections were last held in J&K in September 2018, in four phases and on a party basis. J&K has two municipal corporations, 19 municipal councils, and 57 municipal committees.
The term of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) will be complete on November 5 and that of Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) on November 14.
The terms of all other municipal bodies, including councils and committees in the UT will end between October and November.
The BJP had won the majority of seats in the Jammu Municipal Corporation while Junaid Mattu, candidate
of the Peoples Conference was elected as the Mayor with support from the BJP in the Srinagar Municipal Corporation.
On the other hand, the last panchayat polls were held on a non-party basis during November-December 2018,
Emerging out of the first round of meeting some of the local BJP leaders informed the media persons that the discussion revolved around the party’s poll preparedness ahead of the Urban Local Bodies/Panchayat polls.