PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti
PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti

Opposition leaders slam EC, Centre for not holding Assembly polls in state with Lok Sabha

ANI | Updated: Mar 10, 2019 23:43 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar 10 (ANI): The opposition leaders on Sunday took on the Election Commission (EC) and the Centre for not holding the Assembly polls in the state along with the Lok Sabha elections for which the schedule was announced by the EC here.
PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti termed the decision to hold only Parliamentary elections in Jammu and Kashmir as a “sinister design” of the Central government.
“Decision to hold only parliamentary elections in J and K confirms sinister designs of GoI. Not letting people elect a government is antithetical to the very idea of democracy. Also, a tactic of buying time to disempower people by pushing an agenda that suits their ulterior motives,” tweeted Mufti.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora on Sunday announced that there will be no simultaneous elections for Jammu and Kashmir state assembly owing to the recent incident of violence, among other factors.
ECI on Sunday announced the schedule for the 17th Lok Sabha election, which will be held in seven phases beginning April 11. The final phase of voting will take place on May 19. The counting of votes will be done on May 23.
Arora, while talking to media persons, said: “The commission is continuously assessing the prevailing condition in the state. Based on the input, the constraint of availability of central forces and other logistics, the requirement of forces for the security of candidates in the wake of recent violence and keeping other challenges in mind, the EC has decided at this stage to announce only the schedule of Parliament election in Jammu and Kashmir.”
The National Conference (NC) leader and former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah tweeted: “First time since 1996 Assembly elections in J and K are not being held on time. Remember this the next time you are praising PM Modi for his strong leadership.”
While senior Congress leader KC Venugopal said that the Central government is running away from conducting elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
“I was in the House when we raised the issue of J&K when Home Minister Rajnath Singh assured the House that the election will be held on time. Now they should tell why they are running away from conducting elections,” said Venugopal.
NC leader Devendra Rana said: “The EC has committed a Himalayan blunder. It is surrender before the forces, who want to weaken democracy in Jammu and Kashmir. If the panchayat and the civic elections could be held two months back which have a wider reach, then why can’t the Assembly elections in the state.”
CPI leader D Raja said that if elections to the parliamentary seats can be held in J&K, then elections to the state Assembly can also be held.
“If the Election Commission can hold the election to the parliament seats in Jammu and Kashmir, then why election to the state assembly can’t be held in the state. I don't find anything convincing in the reply given by the Election Commission,” said Raja. (ANI)