The assembly elections in flood-hit Jammu and Kashmir are likely to be held on time. The Election Commission (EC) is likely to make the announcement in Srinagar on either Saturday or Monday.
“If the elections are postponed, these will be held under governor’s rule, and the Centre doesn’t want to take this responsibility,” said a senior official, wishing not to be quoted. “Postponing elections will also add to political uncertainty, which won’t be good for the politically sensitive state,” the official added.
The elections are due in the last week of November, for a new government to take over by January 19, 2015, when the present assembly completes its term. The EC has talked with all political parties already and all its three members will be in Srinagar on Saturday to hold a press conference, where the election announcement is likely.
The last state elections were also under governor’s rule, as the-then chief minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad, had resigned after People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had withdrawn support. The new elections are likely in a phased manner from November 20 to December 10, like the last that were held in seven phases.
“Polling might start in Ladakh and end in Srinagar. Weather is not a problem in most of the Jammu region,” said the source. The ruling National Conference doesn’t want elections on the scheduled time, citing recent flood as one of the reasons. Capital Srinagar, which has suffered a huge damage, had recorded 20% turnout even in the 2008 elections.
“Even if the elections are postponed, the voting percentage in Srinagar is unlikely to improve,” said the source. Besides, all other political parties want the elections on time.