EC meeting on JK polls timing evokes divergent views
Political parties voiced divergent views at meetings with the Election Commission to decide on the timing of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly polls.Updated: Sep 08, 2008, 13:45 IST
Political parties on Monday voiced divergent views at meetings with the Election Commission to decide on the timing of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly polls.
While BJP and the Left parties demanded that elections be held on schedule by November end, the NCP and Panthers Party wanted delimitation to be done first before finalising the date.
Congress, however, steered clear of the issue leaving it to the EC to decide the timing.
BJP vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters after the meeting that the party favoured elections to be held in October-November.
"Even in 2002 the situation was very bad, but still the elections were held in the state," he pointed out.
CPI National Secretary D Raja and CPI(M) politburo member Ramachandran Pillai echoed similar views that elections should be held on time.
"But the EC should ensure free and fair polls," Raja said.
Congress, which sent a big delegation including Union Minister of State in the PMO Prithviraj Chavan, PCC chief Saifuddin Soz and former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad left it to the EC to decide the date.
"We will cooperate whatever the dates the EC decides," Chavan and Soz said.
NCP and Panthers party, however, demanded that delimitation of the constituencies should be done first before finalising the dates.
The EC elicited the views of leaders of different parties separately.
A decision to call leaders of seven national parties and three state parties was taken last week by the Commission as the Governor's rule in the state ends on January 10.
The Election Commission decided to meet political parties to assess the situation in the state after doubts were expressed over the possibility of holding Assembly polls in the wake of the recent violence over the Amarnath land row.
In the normal course, the tenure of the Assembly was to expire on November 20.
However, the Assembly was dissolved in J-K on July 10 and Governor's rule imposed following a political crisis in the wake of the Amarnath land row which triggered violence in Jammu region and the Kashmir valley resulting in imposition of curfew in both parts for prolonged periods.
A sense of normalcy has returned to Jammu following the agreement with the Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangharsh Samiti but the Valley continues to be tense with separatists raking up issues beyond the land controversy.
Also, if elections are to be held, then it has to be done by November because the weather conditions in the valley are not conducive after the onset of winter.
After receiving inputs from political parties, the EC is expected to meet the Union Home Secretary to take government's view on elections.