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PDP questions EC decision to rescind by-poll notification

PDP said that instead of taking action against the National Conference nominee for submitting 'improper' papers,the commission punished other contestants.

Written by Agencies | Srinagar |
April 24, 2009 3:26:45 pm

The PDP on Friday questioned the Election Commission’s decision to rescind its notification to conduct bye-poll for Hazratbal Assembly constituency saying instead of taking action against the National Conference nominee for submitting “improper” papers,the commission punished other contestants.

“While we welcome the intervention of the Election Commission in the instant case,instead of disqualifying the NC candidate for his fault it has punished other contestants by rescinding notification for the bye-poll”,PDP President

Mehbooba Mufti told reporters at a hurriedly convened press conference in Srinagar on Friday.

Rescinding its notification for conduct of bye-poll for the constituency due to “improper” acceptance of nomination papers of one of the candidates by the Returning Officer (RO),the EC on Thursday said “the RO was not aware of the basic provisions of the J&K Constitution,J&K Representation of Peoples Act and J&K Conduct of Election Rules and he accepted the nomination in total violation of law and Supreme Court’s dictum”.

She alleged that the ruling party had pressurised the returning officer to accept the papers of its candidate Sheikh Mustafa Kamaal,who is the younger brother of NC President Farooq Abdullah.

The bye-poll,necessitated in the constituency due to vacation of the seat by NC President Farooq Abdullah,was slated for May seven.

The RO of the constituency deferred the decision on Kamaal’s papers on April 20 when the scrutiny was held. However,on April 22,he declared the papers as valid and accepted them. However,the same day the PDP complained to the EC that the NC candidate’s papers were not in order.

The EC said fresh notification for the bye-election would be issued in due course of time.

Praising the former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee for ensuring free and fair elections in 2002 in the state,the PDP President said the credibility of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was at stake and sought his intervention in the matter.

“The ruling NC,if allowed to repeat the mistake committed in 1987 of rigging the elections in the state,would force the youth to take arms again”,she warned.

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