JAMMU: Defence minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday that assembly elections could be held in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir by the end of this year. Rajnath is on a two-day visit to J&K and arrived in Jammu on Friday.
Addressing an event to celebrate the 200th year of the coronation of Maharaja Gulab Singh, the defence minister said the delimitation exercise has been completed and now the number of seats has gone up to 90 in J&K, with Kashmir having 47 seats and Jammu 43. “By this year-end, there is a possibility of holding assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Lashing out at Pakistan for promoting terrorism in J&K, Rajnath said, “Recently, attempts were made again to ignite hatred in J&K. There is an important role of our neighbouring country in sowing the seeds of hatred here (sic).”
“From the attacks of 1947 to the recently-conducted targeted killings, there is a foreign conspiracy behind all of these. We won’t allow forceful migration of any community from Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
He also targeted Pakistan for its illegal occupation of parts of Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan and said that it was never made a part of Pakistan’s Constitution, unlike India’s where entire Jammu and Kashmir is a part of the country.
“In 1947, when India was divided, a large chunk of the region was captured illegally before the accession of Jammu and Kashmir. Even today, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan is under the illegal occupation of Pakistan. The areas which Maharaja Gulab Singh had added to Jammu and Kashmir are being claimed by Pakistan as theirs,” he said.

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