Amid criticism from various political parties over the decision to not hold assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir along with Lok Sabha elelctions, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora is set to conduct a meeting to discuss modalities for Assembly elections in the state.
While addressing the press briefing on Sunday, the Chief Election Commissioner had announced that no Assembly elections will be held in the state simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections 2019, owing to recent incidents of terror.
“The Commission has been constantly accessing the prevailing condition in the state. Based on input, the constraint of availability of central forces and other logistics, the requirement of forces for security of candidates in wake of recent violence and keeping other challenges in mind EC has decided at this stage to announce the only schedule of Parliament election in J&K,” Sunil Arora had said while announcing the dates of Lok Sabha polls.
Presently, the state is under Governor's Rule after BJP ended the ruling alliance with the PDP party-led by former J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti. In the aftermath of the recent attacks, political parties had asked the Elections Commission to hold the assembly elections along with the Lok Sabha polls in April-May.
Former Jammu & Kashmir chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah took to Twitter and wrote that it will be the first time since 1996 Assembly elections in J&K are not being held on time.
In another tweet, he wrote: "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."
PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti too slammed the EC's decision to not hold assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir along with Lok Sabha polls.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission on Sunday appointed three former civil servants Amarjit Singh Gill (IPS 1972 Batch, Former DG, CRPF), Noor Mohammad (IAS 1977), and Vinod Zutshi (IAS 1982) as special observers for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
(With agency inputs)