No Decision Yet On J&K Elections

13 October 2008
The Hindu

New Delhi: The Election Commission is yet to take a decision on holding the Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir. The Full Commission, comprising Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami and Commissioners Navin Chawla and S.Y. Qureshi, has been holding talks since Friday last. But no decision is forthcoming, Commission sources said. In Jammu and Kashmir, which is under Presidentís Rule, elections will have to be held by January 10, 2009. The sources said an announcement on holding the Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram was likely to be made on Tuesday. Rajya Sabha polls Biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha will be held on November 21 to fill 10 vacancies from Uttar Pradesh and one from Uttarakhand. Simultaneously, a by-election will be held to fill up a lone vacancy from West Bengal caused by the resignation of Debabrata Biswas from the Upper House last month. The election schedule was announced by the Election Commission on Monday. Counting of votes will be taken up on November 21 itself. Nominations will have to be filed by November 10 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is set for November 14. All the seats for which by-elections are to be held will fall vacant on November 25. The outgoing members from Uttar Pradesh include Abu Asim Azmi, Amar Singh and Udai Pratap Singh of the Samajwadi Party, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Rajnath Singh of the Bharatiya Janata Party, and Gandhi Azad and Veer Singh of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). Other outgoing members are Akhilesh Das - who resigned from the House in May after parting ways with the Congress - Isam Singh (a BSP member who was disqualified from the Rajya Sabha on July 4 and Shahid Siddiqui (a Samajwadi Party member who recently joined the BSP). The vacancy from Uttarakhand is due to the retirement of Harish Chandra Singh.