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Independent Candidates Oppose Re-poll at 38 Srinagar LS Booths Citing Possibility of Violence

Seven independent candidates who contested the Srinagar Parliamentary seat bypoll held on April 9, today called for a boycott of re-polling at 38 booths scheduled on Thursday.

PTI

Updated:April 12, 2017, 7:15 PM IST
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Independent Candidates Oppose Re-poll at 38 Srinagar LS Booths Citing Possibility of Violence
An paramilitary trooper helps a Kashmiri woman to cast her vote at a polling booth in Pulwama during the second phase of crucial polls. (Photo: Reuters)
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Srinagar: Seven independent candidates who contested the Srinagar Parliamentary seat bypoll held on April 9, today called for a boycott of re-polling at 38 booths scheduled on Thursday.

The candidates raised questions that if the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat bypoll had been postponed in view of the security situation, then why had the same not been done for the re-polling at 38 booths of the Srinagar constituency.

"Elections come and go but we cannot let our brothers be killed for polling. Our brothers' safety is more important than our polling. We challenge their wrong decision (of going ahead with the re-poll). We appeal the people to not press our buttons on EVMs and boycott the polls. We support boycott now because they (government) took wrong decisions.

"We ask youth to stay at home so that no damage takes place, Mirza Sajjad Hussain Beigh, told reporters Srinagar. Beigh, along with other six independent candidates - Ghulam Hassan Dar, Farooq Ahmad Dar, Mehraj Khourshid Malik, Bikram Singh, Chetan Sharma and Sajad Reshi was addressing a joint press conference here.

Beigh said if the Election Commission postponed the by-polls on Anantnag Parliamentary constituency because of the violence during polling in Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency on April 9, why is then re-poll taking place in the same constituency on Thursday.

If in Anantnag they deferred the by-polls due to security reasons because of killings, then why hold re-poll in Budgam district then? Did the killings not occur in Budgam? Does the PDP-BJP government want to spill blood of Kashmiris? If we see in today s date our CM said only 5 per cent are with violence, but can she tell us who are these 93 per cent who boycotted the elections (on April 9)? the candidate said.

He alleged that it was unfortunate that the Elections Commission was not behaving as an autonomous office.

The office of the Election Commission of India is an autonomous office. But (PDP candidate) Tassaduq Mufti said elections should not be held at Anantnag and the polls didn't happen. This is unfortunate, he said.

Beigh also said that the independent candidates' security was withdrawn on poll day itself.

The candidates said they knew the situation was bad in Kashmir, but were assured by the government that no one will be killed on poll day and it said people want polls.

We (independents) are with India, but the CM has been giving wrong statements (about 5 per cent are with violence), so we want to boycott, he said.

Apart from these seven candidates, ruling PDP s Nazir Khan and opposition National Conference president Farooq Abdullah are in the fray for the seat.

ALSO READ: Separatists Call For Shutdown Ahead of Repolling in Kashmir's Budgam District

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