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EC to hold further consultations to decide poll timing in J&K

"Even in the event of our deciding to hold the elections, in all our instructions, they will never interfere with relief work," Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath said.

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Updated:October 18, 2014, 6:03 PM IST
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EC to hold further consultations to decide poll timing in J&K
"Even in the event of our deciding to hold the elections, in all our instructions, they will never interfere with relief work," Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath said.

Srinagar: After holding day-long discussions with stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir, the Election Commission on Saturday said that it will hold further consultations in Delhi on timing of Assembly polls in the flood-ravaged state.

It, however, made it clear that relief and rehabilitation work will not be affected in case the polls are held on time. "Even in the event of our deciding to hold the elections, in all our instructions, they will never interfere with relief work," Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath said.

Sampath, who was accompanied by Election Commissioners Harikrishna Brahma and Syed Nasim Ahmad Zaidi, said they met the stakeholders, including all recognised political parties in the state. The ruling National Conference told the EC team, which arrived here this morning, that the present juncture was not conducive for holding the polls in view of the largescale destruction caused by the floods last month.

But ruling coalition partner Congress and opposition parties, including PDP, backed the conduct of the polls before the end of the year, as per the schedule. "We have had day-long consultations with all concerned. We have noted their views vis-a-vis conduct of elections. Quite a of few of them maintained that elections should be held on schedule and that there should not be any delay, while some others were also mentioning that holding of elections will interfere with relief and rehabilitation," he said.

"We will be getting back to Delhi. We have to hold some more consultations before we come to a final conclusion about the scheduling of the elections. We will be announcing it as soon as we make up our mind," he said. In response to a question, Sampath said that the state administration was thoroughly prepared for holding polls in J&K. "The preparedness of the administration for the conduct of elections is thorough. They are fully prepared," he said.

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