New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Tuesday said people of the flood ravaged state were still struggling to rebuild their lives and holding assembly elections now might result in “zero percent turnout”.
“We don’t believe that this is the opportune time to have elections, people are struggling to rebuild their lives as the most heavily populated areas of Kashmir Valley had been inundated with flood,” Abdullah said after meeting union Home Minister Rajnath Singh here.
“Your capital city (Srinagar), which anyway has a less than optimum turnout in elections, tomorrow when zero percent turnout happens, who would you blame for that? You certainly can’t blame me because I am not the one pushing for elections,” he added.
Jammu and Kashmir was severely affected by unprecedented floods early September. Lakhs of people were marooned across the state for days. Thousands lost all they possessed.
However, Abdullah added that the state government was capable of holding the polls but was not sure about the timing.
“In terms of our ability to hold elections, we can have them, but our stand was made very clear to the EC. As far as the state government is concerned, it has drawn a distinction between whether we can have elections and whether we should have elections.”
“We leave it to the EC to take the final decision,” Abdullah added.
The six-year term of the 87-member state assembly ends on January 19, 2015.
Abdullah also discussed with Rajnath Singh the situation following the ceasefire violations on the border.