New Delhi: In what could give a semblance of normalcy in J&K, all gram panchayats have been advised to hoist the Tricolour on Independence Day. Also Read - Congress, Gupkar Gang Want To Take J&K Back to Era of Terror and Turmoil: Amit Shah

During a press conference, Union Minister of State (Home) G Kishan Reddy said on Friday, “Village heads of all gram panchayats of J&K have been advised to hoist the national flag on August 15. Also Read - Will Hold Tricolour And J-K Flag Together, Says PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti

This corroborates a report last week that deployment of additional troops in J&K was to avoid any untoward incident. Also Read - US Election Results 2020: Donald Trump Jr Commits Blunder, Shows J&K Separate From India in Map; Slammed

A leading daily had reported that the BJP had instructed its units in every panchayat to hoist the Tricolour on August 15. The party reportedly hoped this would help prepare the ground for the Assembly elections later this year.

Last week, the party had held a meeting with its J&K core group in the national capital where Assembly elections were top agenda.

The meeting, chaired by BJP Working President JP Nadda, was attended by party General Secretary (Organisation) BL Santosh, General Secretary in charge of J&K Ram Madhav, Union Minister Jitendra Singh, National Vice President Avinash Rai Khanna, state chief Ravinder Raina and senior leaders from the state, including Nirmal Singh and Kavinder Gupta.

Later, Raina told the media that the announcement of poll dates would be after the Amarnath Yatra. “As our Home Minister said in the Lok Sabha, the Government and the BJP are ready to face elections whenever they are announced.”

However, earlier this week, the Centre, with its decision to revoke Article 370, has changed the political scene in J&K. Now J&K would be bifurcated into two Union Territories: J&K and Ladakh.

As a pre-emptive measure, the Centre put senior local politicians like Mehbooba Mufti, and Farooq and Omar Abdullah under house arrest a day before Home Minister Amit Shah put forth the decision in Rajya Sabha. Internet services were suspended and Section 144 was imposed in many areas.

However, now life is limping back to normalcy with Section 144 being withdrawn from Jammu municipal limits. Educational institutions in the area would also open from Saturday.