Union Cabinet approves extension of President’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir for six months

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved an extension of President’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir for a period of six months, starting July 3. In a press release, the government said that the decision to extend President’s Rule was taken due to the “prevailing situation” in the state, as reported by Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik.

Governor’s Rule was imposed in the state in June last year, after the Bharatiya Janata Party pulled out of its ruling alliance with the Peoples Democratic Party. In December, this was replaced with President’s Rule.

“The present term of President’s Rule is expiring on 2nd July, 2019 and the Governor has recommended that the President Rule in the State may be extended for a further period of six months with effect from 3rd July, 2019,” the central government said on Wednesday. The Centre added that it will move a resolution in Parliament seeking approval of extension of President’s Rule, after the Monsoon Session begins on June 17.

Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir were last held in 2014, following which the BJP and the Peoples Democratic Party formed a coalition government. The Assembly has a six-year tenure, meaning polls were due in 2020 before the BJP pulled out of the government last year.

On June 4, reports said that the Centre is considering delimitation of Assembly constituencies in the state. Muslim-majority Kashmir has 46 seats, followed by Jammu region with 37 and Ladakh with four. There was a possibility of the government constituting the delimitation commission to redraw the scope and size of the Assembly segments and determine the number of seats reserved for Schedules Castes, unidentified officials told PTI.

Opposition parties in Kashmir had strongly opposed the reported plans. National Conference leader Omar Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti said this was “another emotional partition of the state on communal lines” and “an attempt to make changes without mandate” from the people of the state.

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