April 2019 News

Decision On Assembly Polls In J&K: EC To Take More Feedback From Necessary Quarters

30 April 2019
Kashmir News Service

Srinagar: As suspense over holding of Assembly polls continues in Jammu and Kashmir, the Election Commission is once again set to take further inputs from all necessary quarters, on how early the Assembly polls can be held in the state. Sources in the election commission told Kashmir News Service (KNS) that Election Commission is monitoring regularly and on a real-time basis the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and will soon take a decision on holding Assembly elections in the state. 'In New Delhi today, the commission is taking inputs from all necessary quarters including the security establishments, and will soon take its final decision in this regard,' sources told KNS. There were reports that Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections are likely to happen in June ahead of the annual Amarnath Yatra beginning July 1. However interestingly the Governor's administration here on Friday opposed the proposal to hold assembly elections in June and instead urged the Election Commission of India (ECI) to hold elections in November. The government has reportedly cited the Ramzan Yatra, tourism season and Bakarwal migration as reasons for further delay in elections. However sources told KNS that the decision on holding assembly elections will be taken by election commission of India after consultations with the union home ministry on the timing of assembly elections in the state. The special observers recently met Election commission and submit their feedback to the Election Commission of India to help it decide on holding assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir. The special observers are retired IAS officers Noor Mohammad and Vinod Zutshi, and retired IPS officer A.S. Gill. It is to mention here that almost all political parties in Jammu and Kashmir had criticized the EC's move of not conducting the assembly polls along with general elections in the state. Since the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly has been dissolved, the EC is bound to hold fresh polls as well within a six-month period, which will end in May. While there was a view that the assembly elections can be held along with the Lok Sabha polls, The ECI decided to hold Lok Sabha polls in the trouble-ravaged state and defer the assembly polls citing security situation and huge need of additional forces for securing the contesting candidates. In J&K, there are 87 Assembly seats. The State plunged into the Governors' rule last year after the sudden withdrawal of support to the PDP by the BJP. The New Delhi removed Governor of the State, NN Vohra with Satya Pal Malik, who after completing his six month's stint was made as the care take Governor with State taking a plunge into presidential rule. A top police officer had told KNS that they have already briefed the ECI about some challenges in Kashmir and also the conducive atmosphere in Jammu and Ladakh. 'Despite certain challenges, we are ready to ensure peaceful and conducive atmosphere for polls,' the official had said. It is to mention here that the BJP National general secretary, Ram Madhav had said in Kashmir that they have asked election commission to hold assembly elections in the state as early as possible.