Cong, BJP meet EC observers, for real-time Assembly polls

S.SHEKHAR. Updated: 3/16/2019 11:40:40 AM Front Page

NC, PDP stay away; visiting team concludes visit

JAMMU: A three-member central team of Election Commission observers, which was on a two-day visit to Jammu & Kashmir to access the ground situation for conduct of Assembly elections simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls in the State, today met several political party delegations here in Jammu on 2nd day and listened to their views and recommendations on the issue.

The EC observers’ team was led by former IAS officer Vinod Zutshi and he was flanked by two other members namely Noor Mohammad, who is also a former IAS officer and S. A. S. Gill, ex-IPS officer.

A two-member delegation of Congress party led by former Minister and senior vice-president of Jammu & Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee, Ramba Bhalla and Ex-Minister Mula Ram met the EC observers, where they advocated for holding simultaneous Assembly elections in Jammu & Kashmir along with Lok Sabha polls.

“We have clearly told the EC observers that we are ready for simultaneous Assembly elections in the State and there is no reason to delay it,” reliable sources in the party informed The News Now.

Meanwhile, insiders in the National Conference informed The News Now that no one from the party met the visiting EC observers in Jammu today.

“We have already made our party’s position clear when the whole team of Election Commission of India (ECI) visited the State recently and there was nothing more to add to it i.e., to simultaneously hold Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Jammu & Kashmir,” they added.

It’s important to mention here that NC also didn’t met EC observers during their first leg of the two-day visit yesterday at Srinagar.

Besides, a two-member delegation of State Unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Dr. Narinder Singh, General Secretary and Rajinder Sharma, State Incharge, Election Related Matters & State Secretary, also called on the visiting EC observers in Jammu, where they also batted for conducting Assembly elections simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls in the State.

“While we expressed our readiness for holding the Assembly elections along with Lok Sabha elections but we also stressed that the same should be held when the Election Commission of India find it feasible,” sources in the BJP informed The News Now.

“We urged the EC observers to hold the elections when more and more people can cast their vote as the holy month of Ramadan along with sacred Shri Amaranth Ji Yatra as well as seasonal migration of Gujjar-Bakerwals are going to start very soon and there should not be any kind of interruption in between when people find it difficult or uneasy to visit a polling booth to cast their franchise,” they explained further.

Moreover, a three-member delegation of Jammu & Kashmir National Panthers Party led by former Minister and party Chairman, Harsh Dev Singh along with former MLAs Yashpaul Kundal and Balwant Singh Mankotia also had a meeting with the EC observers’ team in Jammu and favoured for conduct of simultaneous Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in the State.

“If situation is conducive for Parliamentary elections then how it’s bad for holding the Assembly polls,” said one of the JKNPP leaders, who met the EC observers in Jammu.

“There is a Supreme Court direction in this regard and it’s also Constitutional obligation of the Central Government to establish a democratically elected government in the State,” he said, adding, “There should not be any excuse on this behalf.”

It’s pertinent to mention here that People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has already declared its boycott on meeting with the visiting EC observers and as such they stayed away.
Updated On 3/16/2019 11:41:26 AM

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