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Murder of Democracy, Say Leaders in J&K as EC Announces LS Polls But Defers Assembly Elections

The Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said that paucity of security personnel was the main reason for not holding Assembly elections in J&K.

Aakash Hassan | News18.com@Aakashhassan

Updated:March 10, 2019, 11:12 PM IST
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Murder of Democracy, Say Leaders in J&K as EC Announces LS Polls But Defers Assembly Elections
A net-covered bunker during a curfew in Srinagar. Image for representation. (File photo: AFP)
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Srinagar: As the Election Commission announced the schedule for Lok Sabha election on Sunday, leaders of various political parties in Jammu & Kashmir criticsed the move to defer the Assembly elections here.

The Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said that paucity of security personnel was the main reason for not holding Assembly elections in J&K.

"Many political leaders described apprehension about their security when we went to the state to ascertain the situation there. We would have to give them security at their homes, at their offices. But this is not possible at the moment," Arora said.

However, senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar termed the deferment as a “murder of the democracy”, while NC's Devender Singh Rana termed the move as a “Himalayan blunder"

“The decision has created a lot of apprehensions among the people. There is, apparently, no rationale behind holding Lok Sabha polls and not the Assembly elections, especially when the Home Minister of this country went on record saying they are ready to hold simultaneous elections in the state," Akhtar said.

Akhtar recalled the statement made by union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in January in Parliament where he had said that the central government was not opposed to the idea of holding the Assembly elections in J&K along with the general elections in 2019 if the Election Commission decides so.

Akhtar said, “The BJP is running J&K right now through its Governor, who has made no distinction between being a party man and a constitutional head."

Senior leader of the NC Basheer Veeri said that the decision to defer polls would abet the growth of militancy in Kashmir.

“This decision will increase mistrust among people and allow growth of militancy in Kashmir. The BJP has created havoc in the state. The 56-inch chest of Modi has deflated once again. This is a brazen violation of democratic procedures,” Veeri said.

“It explicitly is the win of those inimical elements who were hell-bent to create a situation where elections can’t be held. They have given them full space,” he said, asking “Now, what answer and explanation do the people who are fighting for the restoration of peace have?”

The Election Commission has been unable to hold elections for Anantnag Lok Sabha seat for nearly last two years. On Sunday, it announced that the voting for the Anantnag seat will be held in three phases.

The state chief of Congress, GA Mir said that the people were eagerly waiting for the simultaneous polls because there is distrust in state.

“If PM Modi and his government has deferred the Assembly polls with the help of agencies, this is a self-endorsement that the situation in Jammu Kashmir in his tenure has been worst,” Mi said.
He also termed it as a “historic low” in the situation of the state as the Anantnag Lok Sabha polls will be held in three phases.

“Again, the Centre has given a reason to the anti-national elements to celebrate.” Mir said.

J&K was put under Governor's rule after the coalition between the PDP and the BJP collapsed in June last year. The state has been under the President’s rule since December 2018.
| Edited by: Sana Fazili
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