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Now, NC wants polls delayed too

india Updated: Sep 09, 2008 00:59 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Hindustan Times
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The opposition by two main regional parties has cast a shadow over the possibility of polls in Jammu and Kashmir before the expiry of Governor’s rule on January 10.

The Election Commission met representatives of seven national and three regional parties separately on Monday to ascertain their views on issues related to the forthcoming assembly elections.

Among the state parties, rivals National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) both opposed the polls “at this moment”.

They called for “serious initiatives” to normalise the situation in Kashmir, which has seen violent protests over the Amarnath land row since June.

The situation in Jammu, meanwhile, has improved after nearly two months following an agreement with the Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti.

“Holding elections at this moment will have serious ramifications. The need of the hour is to take corrective steps in Kashmir as had been done in Jammu,” said NC president Omar Abdullah.

The PDP had already made its stand public. “Elections, at the moment, are a non-issue. A well, thought-out process, which will address the concerns and aspirations of the people, should precede elections...,” senior PDP leader Nizamuddin Bhat told HT.

Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party chairman Prof Bhim Singh told the EC that elections held without delimitation of constituencies would be “illegal and a farce”.

The EC is caught in a bind as national parties expressed divergent views on the issue.

The Congress left it to the EC to take a decision while the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Communist Party of India favour immediate polls.

The Nationalist Congress Party demanded delimitation. The Rashtriya Janata Dal, Bahujan Samaj Party and Communist Party of India (Marxist) want the atmosphere to be made conducive for holding polls. aurangzeb.