J&K polls likely to be held on time, notification issued for returning officers
Barring the National Conference all political parties in Jammu and Kashmir want the elections to be held on time, and have opposed the postponement of the polls when they discussed the matter with Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutshi who had come to assess the political situation. Most of the parties including the BJP, Congress and JKNPP want that democratic process should not be delayed in the name of rescue and relief operations to mitigate the disaster caused by recent flood. The final decision on the postponement of election will be taken by the election commissioners. Political leaders of all hues, and from all the parties met the election commission team which was made aware of the ground situation.
Congress leaders Thakur Hari Singh, and Janak Raj Gupta opined that elections should be held on time and relief operations could be carried out simultaneously. The BJP, JKNPP and BJP leadership also told the election commission team about their readiness to participate in the electoral process. Even PDP in Kashmir is said to be in favour of timely election, and the only party which is opposed to poll at this time is National Conference which wants a delay because it is facing strong anti-incumbency.
The government sources meanwhile hint that timely election would be held in the Jammu and Kashmir, and it is because of this reason that Election Commission of India has sought reports from electoral authorities to send a detailed report about phasing the polls taking into account the weather, climatic conditions, and the recent floods in the state. A notification desginating government officers as returning officers for all assemblies in the state have also been issued.
The state electoral authorities have been asked to hold a constituency-wise phasing taking into account the climatic conditions in different parts of the state to ensure that those constituencies which get snowfall go to polls in the first week of December. The details from the election officials in J&K have been sought within few days so that final decision on J&K polls could be held on the election commission meeting on October 20. It is being speculated that assembly constituencies like Leh, Kargil, Nubra, Zanskar of Ladakh region, Bani of Kathua district, Gool-Gulabgarh of Ramban district, Inderwal of Kishtwar district, Bhaderwah of Doda and parts of Kashmir which get snowbound are covered in the first phase of the polls. The political parties in the state also want that election should be held on time so that a new government takes over, and gives a new direction to J&K.
PIC: Online Media Sources