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J&K parties anguished by EC decision to defer Assembly polls

March 10, 2019 09:47 PM

JAMMU: Most of the mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday expressed disappointment and anger at the Election Commission's decision not to hold Assembly elections simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls.

Congress state unit President G.A. Mir said, "Through its inability to hold the Assembly elections in J&K, the Modi government has admitted its security failure in the state.

"All political parties were on board to hold the Assembly elections together with the Lok Sabha polls. The common man in the state has been demanding an elected government to address his problems. The failure of the Central government to hold these elections has proved that the common man's problems in the state are on nobody's agenda in the central government."

National Conference President Farooq Abdullah termed the decision "very unfortunate".

"This is not Indian democracy working in the right direction. I am absolutely sure there is a political design in withholding the Assembly polls," the former Chief Minister said.

NC leader and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also reacted with anguish and anger.

"In 2014 we had Lok Sabha elections on time & Assembly elections on schedule even after the most devastating floods. Shows how badly the BJP & earlier the BJP-PDP mishandled J&K.

"First time since 1996 Assembly elections in J&K are not being held on time. Remember this the next time you are praising PM Modi for his strong leadership.

"With the amount of international attention elections in J&K attract I never thought PM Modi would be willing to confess his failure on a global stage but we all make mistakes & that was mine," he said in a series of tweets.

Peoples Democratic Party President and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said that the "decision to hold only Parliamentary elections in J&K confirms the sinister designs" of the government.

"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," she said.

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta said his party had also requested simultaneous Assembly polls, but noted that the Election Commission has "cited security reasons and non-availability of security forces in such large numbers as would be needed to hold the two elections together".

"To that extend, we welcome the decision," he said.

Communist Party of India-Marxist state General Secretary M.Y. Tarigami said, "It is a huge disappointment. The state government held the panchayat and urban civic bodies elections without any security problems.

"The Election Commission has now said enough security is not available to hold Assembly and Lok Sabha elections together. My simple question is how is the security situation conducive for holding Lok Sabha elections and not for holding the Assembly elections," he asked.

"People of the state were waiting to exercise their democratic right to choose an elected government... they have been denied this right."

Democratic Party Nationalist (DPN) President and former minister Ghulam Hassan Mir said that it was for the first time that the Kashmiri people wanted the Assembly elections to be held so that they have an elected government but the Election Commission has "deprived them of that right".

The state is presently under the President's rule after the six-month-long Governor rule ended on December 19 last year.


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