All but NC want elections on time

  • Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Oct 10, 2014 19:55 IST

Except for the ruling National Conference all political parties in the state have favoured holding assembly elections on time.

This was conveyed to deputy election commissioner Vinod Zutshi who was visiting the state to access the feasibility of holding elections in view of the devastating floods in the state.

Zutshi was on a two-day visit to the state from October 8 to 10.

While the NC sought deferment of elections in view of the devastation caused by the floods, the coalition partner Congress and opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded holding assembly polls on time.

The opposition PDP has also asked the election commission to constitute a joint committee of officers from the state and Centre to oversee the relief and rehabilitation of the flood victims.

"Last time, the last phase of elections was on December 24, so it's feasible to hold elections in November-December," PDP spokesman Nayeem Akhtar said.

While the NC delegation had pleaded that holding elections when people are still struggling with devastation will not be appropriate, the PDP says elections have become a compulsion as the NC-led government has failed to help flood victims.

"Time is not ripe for holding elections as the atmosphere is not congenial due to devastation caused by floods and the trauma and shock the people are in", an NC press statement on Thursday said.

The delegation of the party was led by its general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar. The other two members of the delegation were provincial president of Jammu Devender Singh Rana and provincial president of Nasir Aslam Wani.

Akhtar, however, said that relief and rehabilitation was a long process and needed a committed government.

"All we get to hear these days is stories of how the NC leaders are hijacking trucks of relief and distributing it among their kin,'' Akhtar said.

Meanwhile, the state unit of Congress said it was thinking about the pros and cons of the situation, but an elected government is "always better than the governor's rule''. "Our representatives told the election commission that the governor's rule is not an option, we also feel that people are of the opinion that a new government might be able to deliver things in a better manner,'' said Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) chief Saifuddin Soz.

Meanwhile, the state BJP has asked the election commission representatives to make an independent assessment of the situation and arrive at a conclusion. "We have assured them that whatever time they decide we will be ready for the elections,'' said general secretary Bali Bhagat. "If elections are held on time, nothing like that,'' he added.

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