JK Assembly polls: EC observers submit feedback to CEC

Srinagar, Apr 03 (KNS): The special observers appointed by the Election Commission of India who recently met top officials of the various security agencies here in Kashmir, have reportedly submitted the feedback to the Election Commission of India to help it decide on holding assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

Sources told Kashmir News Service (KNS) that the observers have submitted their feedback to the commission on Assembly polls and also briefed about the Lok Sabha preparedness in Jammu and Kashmir.

Sources said that the electoral body will take into account their report in deciding the schedule for the State Assembly election.

However sources maintained that the decision on holding assembly elections will be taken by election commission of India only after consultations with the union home ministry on the timing of assembly elections in the state.

The special observers are retired IAS officers Noor Mohammad and Vinod Zutshi, and retired IPS officer A.S. Gill.

Sources said that the election Commission is regularly, and on real-time basis, monitoring the situation in the State and taking inputs from all necessary quarters regarding the conduct of Assembly elections.

The special observers appointed by the Election Commission recently met top officials of the various security agencies and get feedback on how early the assembly polls can be held in the state.

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 has said 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,” he said, on the condition of anonymity.

It is to mention here that the BJP National general secretary, Rammadhav had said in Kashmir that they have asked election commission to hold assembly elections in the state as early as possible.

The observers have already met the political parties on holding the assembly elections in J&K.

According to their mandate, the observers would make a real-time assessment of the situation by meeting political parties, district and state authorities and other stakeholders, and discuss modalities for holding the assembly elections. (KNS) 

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