The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), one of the two ruling parties in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday asked the Election Commission to postpone the Lok Sabha byelection in Anantnag indefinitely in the face of the current unrest in Kashmir valley.
The plea was made by Tassaduq Mufti, the brother of chief minister Mehbooba Mufti and the Peoples Democratic Party candidate in Anantnag during a video conference with the election commission. Tasaduq had said that Kashmir was going through a period of turmoil.
There are seven candidates in the fray but the main contest is expected between Tassaduq and state the satte Congress chief G A Mir.
Tasaduq had made a similar appeal and asked for deferment of the election even before the original scheduled date of April 12. PDP leaders said Tasaduq had told EC to defer polls till the situation becomes conducive. The election was postponed to May 25 tentatively. Election Commission had organised the video conference with all the contesting candidates to ascertain their views about holding of elections to the constituency on May 25.
Kashmir had seen widespread violence during the election to the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat that left eight people dead and scores injured on April 9.
The violence has now spread to schools and colleges as well.
Tassaduq had earlier told reporters that the state government had also formally written to the poll panel that elections couldn’t be held in the current climate.
Separatists have given a boycott call amid simmering anger among the local population after stone pelting and rioting repeatedly disrupted the polling process in Srinagar on April 9 that saw a paltry turnout of 7.14%, the lowest in decades.