The speculations going around on the possibilities of assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir look affirmative as the three-member Election Commission of Indian team is on a tour of the State. There has been a rethinking on holding the State assembly polls and the likelihood of being held before the coming Amarnath Yatra. The three-member EC team is meeting political parties and district-level officers, top bureaucrats and the police top brass to have a feel of ground level. The visit comes after Chief Election Commissioner’s (CEC’s) announcement that the assembly polls would not be held along with the Lok Sabha polls scheduled in five phases in the state. Security remains an important factor seeing the volatile situation in Kashmir Valley especially after the Pulwama terror attack on CRPF convey and the border stand-off between India and Pakistan. The decision to delay the assembly polls has been criticised by all political parties in the State, except the Bharatiya Janata Party, which has already sounded poll bugle from Kashmir. Under the present circumstances besides security the radicalisation of youth remains a major concern seeing the recent attack on security forces and majority of the terrorists eliminated in the encounters. In all these incidents the role of youngsters has been a matter of worry. Even Home Minister Rajnath Singh too has expressed concern over the growing case of radicalisation. At least over hundred youths who allegedly sympathises with ISIS are under the surveillance of the security agencies. Elections in Jammu and Kashmir has always been a matter of concern and a sort of uncertainty prevailed always. The State has witnessed a dangerous sequence of events unfold following the Pulwama attack. There is a political polarisation visible. The National Conference, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Congress have typical sympathy for anti-national forces. Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti are fed by India but their hearts throb for others. So assembly elections are held or not the polarisation of ideologies is going to remain a main factor for the cohesiveness of Jammu and Kashmir.
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