J&K parties slam EC for not announcing assembly polls along with general elections

J&K parties slam EC for not announcing assembly polls along with general elections

Srinagar, Mar 16 : Mainstream political parties slammed the Election Commission of India on Saturday for delaying the assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

The general elections in India for 543 Lok Sabha seats were announced by Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar on Saturday. The elections will be held in seven phases beginning April 19.

In a press conference in Delhi, CEC Kumar made it clear that the Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir would be held immediately after the Lok Sabha elections.

He said all the political parties in J&K told the ECI during their recent visit that they wanted Assembly elections simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections in J&K.

“But the entire administrative machinery asserted in one voice that holding the Assembly elections in J&K with the Lok Sabha elections would not be possible,” the CEC said.

The last assembly elections were held in J&K around 10 years ago, and there were expectations of simultaneous polls. However, the hopes were dashed by the EC.

National Conference President Farooq Abdullah said people here were very disappointed and disheartened.

“When the Government of India was talking about ‘one nation, one election’ here was an opportunity. Four states are already going for both parliamentary and state elections. So why has the J&K been denied the polls?” Abdullah said.
He said not only the National Conference but the BJP too, and every other party that went before the election commission in J&K told them to please hold state elections.

“What is the reason for this delay? Something is fishy. Tell me when they are holding Parliament elections; you need the same security for the assembly elections,” the NC president said.

NC vice president Omar Abdullah hit out at the EC.

“So much for “One Nation, One Election.” The EC is unable to conduct assembly polls in J&K with the general election even when they acknowledge that elections are due #GeneralElection2024,” Omar posted on X.

The Peoples Democratic Party spokesman, Mohit Bhan, said that the CEC couldn’t live up to its mandate to conduct simultaneous polls.

“We had recently put forth suggestions regarding assembly polls vis-à-vis the law and order situation, and people have also been denied the opportunity to elect their representatives at the will of the current regime. It was up to the CEC to come up with a decision, win the trust of the people, and show them that institutions are bigger than governments. We regret that CEC couldn’t live up to its mandate to conduct simultaneous polls,” Bhan said.

Congress J&K president Vikar Rasool Wani said ECI has let down the people here.

“People of J&K were let down by the Election Commission of India by its failure to announce the long-awaited assembly elections, completely disregarding the Supreme Court’s directive to promptly reinstate democracy,” Wani said in a post on X.

Peoples Democratic Front (PDF) Chairman Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen said it was bad luck for the people of J&K.
“For the last 10 years, we have been without any assembly. The government claims that the situation has improved, and there was no reason to delay the polls here,” he said.


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