June 2016 News

Now, Anantnag Byelection Put Off To June 22

2 June 2016
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Amir Karim Tantray

Srinagar: The byelection to the Anantnag Assembly constituency has again been postponed from June 19 to June 22 by the Election Commission of India - this time due to a joint request from all political parties which don't want it to clash with the death anniversary of Qazi Nisar, a religious leader of Anantnag. The ECI acceded to the request from political parties and postponed the elections to June 22. The counting of votes will now be held on June 25. 'We have postponed the election the second time as all political parties had requested for the same. They were of the view that due to the death anniversary of Qazi Nisar, the voter turnout may not be high and it was better to bring forward or postpone the elections,' said Chief Electoral Officer, J&K, Shantmanu. 'We couldn't advance the date as we require at least 14 days for campaigning. Thus, we decided to hold the election on June 22 and the counting of votes will be done on June 25,' he added. Earlier, due to security-related issues, the bypoll for this seat was postponed to June 19 from May 16 by the ECI after the state government had said that the situation was not suitable to conduct the election with violence raging in a few parts of the Valley. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is contesting election from the Anantnag seat as she has to be elected to either of the Houses of the Jammu and Kashmir Legislature by or before October 3. After Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's death on January 7, the Anantnag Assembly seat fell vacant and the ECI has to hold elections for the seat by or before July 6. Mehbooba filed her nomination papers for the seat yesterday and she will have a quadrilateral fight as the Congress and National Conference candidates and Engineer Rashid, a sitting MLA, have also filed their nomination papers. Congress candidate Hilal Shah had contested elections against former Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed on this seat during the 2014 Assembly elections but had lost by 6,028 votes.