The grenade blast at Jammu General Bus Stand has come at a time when the city was
trying to overcome the traumatic situation it faced following Lethpora suicide attack. The
mischievous elements appeared hellbent to destroy the city’s peace by targeting members of
a minority community. However majority of the peace loving dwellers had to suffer both
psychologically and economically while the members of the minority community in the city
had to seek refuge in safer places after a sizeable number of their vehicles was torched by
the marauding mobs. Even as these wounds were fresh came the bus stand attack. Visibly
the attack appears to be the handiwork of the mischief mongers who want the situation to
get polarised. It could also be aimed at stalling the poll process as it came only a day after
Election Commission of India team concluded its state visit on a positive note. The team
had wide ranging discussions with a cross section of politicians and officials including police
and civil authorities. While the state apparatus is understood to have conveyed its
preparedness to hold the elections simultaneously for Lok Sabha and State Assembly, the
majority of politicians cutting across the party lines are also reported to have favoured
simultaneous elections for the 6 parliamentary seats and the state assembly. In fact all
except one political party have been publicly demanding holding of assembly elections
alongside the general elections. At least two key local political parties have accused the
governor of playing with the sentiments of the people by what they call fiddling with the state
constitution. Yes the state needs an elected government that meets the aspirations of the
people and as Governor’s Rule or President’s Rule cannot be a substitute to an elected
government. The fears of the majority of the people in the state about the BJP’s avowed
objective of abrogating Article’ 370 and 35-A of the constitution are not completely
misplaced as the party had made these promises to the people during 2014 elections. And
when it is de facto directly ruling the state through what we call ‘President’s Rule’, people
here are genuinely concerned about the fate of the residual autonomy of the state as much
of it has already been compromised rather eroded. The people of the state need to be on
guard against the machinations of the enemies of peace and tranquility in the state.