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Jamaat-e-Islami Kashmir Ready to Contest Assembly Polls if Centre Lifts Ban

In a significant development, the banned Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) Kashmir has announced its readiness to contest upcoming Assembly polls if the Centre lifts the ban imposed on it. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had banned JeI in 2019, following the revocation of Article 370, labeling the organization as “anti-national.”

Speaking to reporters, JeI’s panel head Ghulam Qadir Wani from Gussu, Pulwama, expressed the organization’s commitment to the democratic process. Wani himself was seen casting his vote in the recent Lok Sabha polls held on May 13 for the Srinagar constituency. He emphasized that JeI members participated in the elections, reinforcing their belief in democratic engagement.

Wani revealed that the organization plans to contest the upcoming Assembly elections scheduled for September this year, contingent upon the Centre revoking the ban. “We will field our own candidates if the Centre revokes the ban on us. Although there are other issues, the revocation of the ban is the primary condition for our participation,” Wani stated during his interaction with media personnel.

JeI’s proposed poll plank will focus on socio-religious reforms, addressing issues like drug abuse and moral degradation. The organization aims to advance these causes through the democratic process, reflecting their longstanding commitment to societal improvement.

A crucial session of JeI’s Majlis-e Shoora was recently held, where a decision was made to revive the organization and participate in the electoral process. Wani reiterated that JeI has always believed in democracy and has never deviated from this principle. The decision to contest elections aligns with their core beliefs and objectives.

Addressing queries about JeI’s past election boycotts, Wani clarified that these were due to external pressures and threats that discouraged voting. He noted that during times when voter turnout was low, JeI members adhered to the broader public sentiment, which was influenced by the prevailing circumstances.

The organization’s decision marks a significant shift in the political landscape of Kashmir, potentially influencing the upcoming Assembly elections. JeI’s re-entry into the political arena is contingent on the Centre’s response to their condition for lifting the ban.

As the Assembly polls approach, the political dynamics in Kashmir are expected to evolve, with JeI poised to play a significant role if their demands are met. The organization’s emphasis on democratic participation and socio-religious reforms underscores its strategic approach to addressing Kashmir’s complex socio-political issues.

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