Jammu & Kashmir Opposition Welcomes Poll Dates

25 October 2014
The Asian Age
Yusuf Jameel

Srinagar: The Election Commission's decision to hold Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir with those in Jharkhand in November-December ignoring the stiff opposition from ruling National Conference (NC) has evoked mixed reaction in the state, parts of which were recently ravaged by recent floods. While all other major political parties welcomed the election schedule, the NC said it would not turn its back on the democratic exercise either, setting all speculation regarding its participation to rest. 'Now with election dates announced there is no question of not contesting the forthcoming polls. We will put our best foot forward,' said Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. PDP spokesman Naeem Akhtar, while welcoming the EC decision said: 'This is a difficult time for Kashmir and its people. We need a government which is stable and has full tenure to conceptualise and implement the plans for massive reconstruction of the state. We know and the people also know it is the PDP which is capable of doing that.' NC's coalition partner Congress, which was earlier dithering on the issue, had with its meeting here with the visiting full EC on October 18 strongly supported the idea of holding elections on time. The PDP, BJP, CPI(M) and several mainstream regional parties were all against deferring elections on the plea that any such move would only derail the democratic process in a state. 'It (EC decision) is a welcome step. We all are ready to go to the people to seek their mandate. They are also keen to seize the chance to oust this incompetent government,' said BJP state president Jugal Kishore Sharma.