Press Trust of india

NC questions govt over non-conduct of Assembly polls in J&K together with LS elections

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Srinagar:  National Conference (NC) vice-president Omar Abdullah on Tuesday asked if the Centre cannot hold Assembly and Lok Sabha elections together in Jammu and Kashmir, how can it conduct simultaneous polls across the country.

Abdullah was reacting to Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar’s remark that the officers of the Union Territory administration had expressed inability to conduct the elections simultaneously in view of the requirement of a large number of security forces.

“When the CEC addressed a press conference, he said the ECI and all political parties are ready for polls, but the current administration (in J&K) put hurdles, saying they need more security forces.

“In such a situation, I am forced to question that when no assembly polls are being conducted in other states like UP, and Bihar, and you cannot conduct simultaneous elections now, then when you talk about one nation, one election, and have to conduct the polls simultaneously in states like UP, MP and Bihar, then where from will you get the forces?” Abdullah told reporters here.

He said the ECI had an opportunity to conduct the Assembly polls in J&K, but the Union territory administration did not want to have elections as they did not want to leave power.

“It was an opportunity to conduct the elections. But they (administration) do not want it…they have become uncrowned kings. They have all the power which they do not want to leave. But thank God for the Supreme Court order that the elections have to be conducted before September 30,” he added.

The Supreme Court in December last year, while pronouncing its judgement after hearing a batch of petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370, asked the government to conduct the Assembly polls in J&K by September 30 this year.

Asked when the party would announce its candidates for the Lok Sabha polls, the NC leader said they were in no hurry.

“Only three candidates have been announced yet, Congress and other parties have not announced (their candidates)…. We are in no hurry,” he said.


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