March 2019 News

JK Govt Ready For LA Polls In June If GoI Provides Adequate Forces

16 March 2019
Rising Kashmir
Javid Ahmad

Srinagar: The Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir are possible in June if Government of India (GoI) provides required paramilitary forces to the State administration, a top official said. The official told Rising Kashmir that the State administration is ready to facilitate the holding of the Assembly polls as early as possible keeping in view Amarnath Yatra and other events. The Election Commission of India (ECI) recently announced schedule for Lok Sabha elections but did not announce any dates for J&K Assembly polls citing security concerns. The ECI appointed three special observers - Noor Mohammed, Vinod Zutshi and A S Gill - to assess the ground situation in the State. The three observers concluded three-day visit to the State today. They held discussions with top civil and security officials and representatives of political parties to determine possibility of holding of assembly elections in the State. The top official said the main thing about holding polls in the State is deployment of adequate paramilitary forces. 'It is important how many Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) companies will be provided to the State government by the GoI and on what time,' he said. The official said keeping in view Amarnath yatra and other schedules, the administration would see 'how to fit in' and 'try to facilitate the polls as early as possible provided the security demand is met by the GoI.' The Amarnath yatra starts from July and ends in August every year. According to reports, the government had sought some 800 CAPF companies for conduct of the assembly polls in the State following February 14 suicide attack on CRPF bus in Pulwama in which 40 CRPF men were killed. The deferring of Assembly polls has evoked criticism from all political parties barring BJP. The State is currently under Presidential rule after the six-month term of Governor's rule ended on December 19, 2018. The Governor's rule had been imposed after the fall of PDP-BJP government in the State in June last year following withdrawal of support to Mehbooba-led government by BJP. Before end of President's rule in June, the assembly polls need to be held in the State. The top official said if adequate paramilitary forces are provided to the state, there would be 'no reluctance' from State administration in holding assembly polls in June. 'But, it again depends upon the emerging security scenario in the state,' he said adding, 'As far as the State is concerned, the security was the main concern.' The official said the call on Assembly polls in the State would be taken by ECI.