No change in schedule, first phase on Nov 17, says EC
The Election Commission said “no decision” has been taken on postponing elections in J&K, despite the National Conference (NC) asking for deferment of polls because of heavy snowfall in the Valley, reports Chetan Chauhan.delhi Updated: Nov 15, 2008 01:15 IST
The Election Commission on Friday said “no decision” has been taken on postponing elections in Jammu and Kashmir, despite the National Conference (NC) asking for deferment of polls because of heavy snowfall in the Valley.
“No decision has been taken for postponement of elections,” Deputy Election Commissioner R Bhattacharya said while reacting to NC president Omar Abdullah’s demand.
The first phase of elections in the higher reaches and border areas of the Kashmir Valley begins on November 17 and will be held as per schedule, he said.
The commission had factored in some element of snow while preparing contingency plans for the state, he said.
Abdullah said the elections need to be postponed as it would be difficult to campaign in the state due to prevailing weather conditions. Bhattacharya, however, said no party had so far approached the commission for postponement of elections.
According to sources, the commission has sought the army’s help to conduct elections. To ensure the snow does not impact polling, officials said arrangements have been made to ensure polling stations are as close as “possible” to the homes of voters.
But, still on an average a voter might have to travel more than a kilometre to cast vote. The commission has sanctioned 895 polling booths for 5.48 lakh voters.