New Delhi: More than a month after the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) assembly was dissolved, Union home minister Rajnath Singh informed the Rajya Sabha on Thursday that the centre was prepared to hold elections in the state.

After the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ended its alliance with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and pulled out of the government, governor’s rule was imposed in the state on 20 June. Subsequently President’s rule was imposed in J&K on 19 December.

Singh said that though conducting free and fair elections amid unrest in the Valley will pose a monumental challenge not just to the Election Commission, but to the Union home ministry, the centre agrees to pull out all stops to make the elections secure, should they be announced.

Responding to a discussion in the Rajya Sabha on the statutory resolution on the proclamation issued by the President in relation to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 356, Singh said though the “Election Commission is responsible for conducting polls, the centre is ready to provide maximum security forces to it. We will extend whatever infrastructure is needed".

The proclamation of President’s rule was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Thursday following the discussion and the minister’s reply.

Earlier, leader of the opposition and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad attacked the BJP for “destabilizing" the state government. He alleged that the BJP had tried to split the Congress, the National Conference (NC) and PDP in J&K to form its own government.

“Why did the centre keep Kashmir in suspended animation for so long after withdrawing support? You (BJP) tried to break the parties. NC and PDP wanted government to be formed in the state because governor’s rule was not benefiting anyone. The minute BJP got to know about this, they dissolved the Vidhan Sabha."

Azad also alleged that the BJP-led centre was incapable of feeling the pulse of the people and understanding the repercussions of governor’s rule in J&K. “It is the toughest in Kashmir because the governor has executive and legislative powers. The centre has misused this and 55 amendments have been introduced in the laws," he added.

In response, leader of the House and Union finance minister Arun Jaitley accused the Congress of trying to wipe out its own mistakes of the past made in Jammu and Kashmir and instead blaming the centre for the prevailing situation in the Valley.