Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections won’t be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission announced on Sunday evening. The state will vote in the Lok Sabha elections in five phases on April 11, April 18, April 23, April 29 and May 6.
Questioning the poll panel's decision to not announce elections in the Valley, National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah tweeted, “What happened to Rajnath Singh’s assurance to Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha as well as to the all party meeting recently in Delhi that all forces would be made available for simultaneous polls?”
Launching a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, The NC leader said the decision to not hold assembly elections in the state was equivalent to “surrendering to Pakistan, to militants and to the Hurriyat.”
“In light of the failure to conduct assembly elections on time in J&K I’m retweeting my tweets from a few days ago,” tweeted Omar Abdullah. “PM Modi has surrendered to Pakistan, to the militants & to the hurriyat,” he wrote, adding “Well done Modi Sahib. 56 inch chest failed. #slowclap,” he tweeted.
In light of the failure to conduct assembly elections on time in J&K I’m retweeting my tweets from a few days ago. PM Modi has surrendered to Pakistan, to the militants & to the hurriyat. Well done Modi Sahib. 56 inch chest failed. #slowclap https://t.co/oqtDAfNdeb— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) March 10, 2019
Calling the decision “bizarre”, Abdullah said this is the first time since 1996 that Assembly elections in the state are not being held on time. “Remember this the next time you are praising PM Modi for his strong leadership,” he tweeted.
What happened to @rajnathsingh’s assurance to Lok Sabha & Rajya Sabha as well as to the all party meeting recently in Delhi that all forces would be made available for simultaneous polls?— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) March 10, 2019
The events unfolding in and around the state — the issue of national security to be more precise — over the last one month have become the central plank in the BJP's campaign.
Given the unrelenting violence in form of regular encounters that the state has seen since July 2016 with the death of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani, protests against jailing of separatists, NIA raids, crackdown on Jamaat-e-Islami, the Pulwama attack, unrest over article 370 and 35A, the EC will have perhaps its toughest assignment in this state.
Getting people to come and out and vote will be a huge challenge for the EC given what happened in the last two Parliamentary bypolls that were scheduled in the state - Srinagar by-poll saw a voter turn out of 7% and Anantnag bypoll had to be cancelled. For the first time in nearly 3 decades the polls had to be cancelled due to poor response and bad law and order situation.