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Anantnag bypolls: EC to take call after getting report from home ministry, state govt

A report on the ground situation in the state will be submitted to the poll panel on Friday evening, Jammu and Kashmir CEO says.

india Updated: Apr 28, 2017 22:49 IST
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Hindustan Times, Jammu
Anantnag bypoll,Election Commission,Home ministry
Paramilitary soldiers outside a polling station in Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency where a bypoll on April 9 witnessed unprecedented violence. (HT Photo)

The poll panel will take a call on holding Anantnag Lok Sabha bypolls after getting a report on Friday evening on the ground situation in the militancy-ridden state from the home ministry and the Jammu and Kashmir government.

By-elections to the parliamentary constituency have been postponed to May 25 from April 12 after polling day violence in Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency left eight people dead and scores injured on April 9.

“The Election Commission of India (ECI) is yet to take a final call on the Anantnag bypoll. A ground report on the situation in Kashmir is expected this (Friday) evening from the home ministry and the state government,” state’s chief electoral officer Shantmanu told the HT.

He said the poll panel might take a decision by Monday after getting the report.

He informed that while the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had urged the ECI to postpone the bypolls indefinitely, the Congress and the National Conference (NC) had kept their stand “neutral.”

The CEO further quoted the two parties as saying that a peaceful atmosphere is required for conducting the polls and that maintaining law and order is the responsibility of the state government.

When asked about security aspect vis-à-vis the violence during Srinagar bypolls, the CEO said the state government will seek deployment of 675 companies of paramilitary forces, mainly CRPF, from the centre to conduct the by-elections.

One company of a paramilitary force on an average has 100 personnel.

“More security men will be deployed for Anantnag. At least one platoon, comprising three sections of around 26 personnel, shall be deployed in each polling location,” he said.

On impending Panchayat polls, he said election authorities are ready with revised electoral rolls. But he doesn’t subscribe to the idea of holding the rural elections at this juncture because of the prevailing situation in Kashmir valley.

First Published: Apr 28, 2017 19:20 IST