India’s Supreme Court upheld the 2019 decision by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to revoke special status for the state of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and set a deadline of Sept 30 next year for state polls to be held. The region has been at the center of animosity with neighboring Pakistan for more than 75 years. The decision is seen as a win for Modi’s nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and is a boost for the government ahead of general elections. The court ruled that only parliament had the power to revoke the special status, which was a temporary constitutional provision. The decision also ordered that the federal territory should return to being a state at the earliest opportunity. This comes after a series of petitions challenging the revocation and a subsequent decision to split the region into two federally administered territories. The decision by a panel of five judges paves the way for elections in the region, which was more closely integrated with India after the government’s move. It also has implications for the long-standing dispute with Pakistan over the region.
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