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J&K poll dates next week

The Election Commission is expected to announce the date for assembly elections in J&K early next week.

delhi Updated: Oct 11, 2008 00:12 IST
HT Political Bureau

The Election Commission (EC) is expected to announce the date for assembly elections in J&K early next week.

Elections, to be held in phases, are expected between mid-November and early December.

At a meeting with the full Commission, headed by Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami, on Friday, Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta is learnt to have said the government would have no problems with polls held next month in three to four phases. The meeting followed a visit to the state by an EC delegation to ascertain the views of parties in the state.

Gupta is believed to have apprised the EC that there is adequate police and paramilitary presence in the state (they'd been deployed during the violence in the aftermath of the Amarnath land transfer). Sources said the EC was concerned about the availability of central forces, in view of the militancy situation.

While most Kashmir-based parties and the Congress have said they will abide by the EC decision, the former feel the current atmosphere is not conducive for polls.