CONCLUDING THE Election Commission’s two-day visit to J&K on Tuesday, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora said all political parties have urged the poll panel to hold simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls “at the earliest”.
According to sources, both PDP and BJP supported simultaneous polls. The EC will take a final decision this week, said sources. Quoting representatives of parties, Arora said they referred to the turnout in the local elections to emphasise that people want a democratically elected government. “They said that further postponement of the democratic process is adding to the sense of uncertainty,” he said.
Responding to a question, Arora said “district administration officials in areas where infiltration is more were of the opinion that polls can be held”. “Conducting polls is a challenge anywhere, but more so in J&K, not just because of the topography and extreme weather conditions, but the prevailing situation,’’ he said. In view of the snow-bound conditions, some parties suggested that polling should be scheduled after May.
The EC team also met the state Chief Secretary, Home Secretary, Director General of Police, Chief Electoral Officer and district officials. According to sources, some officials, including field officers, backed simultaneous polls, while others, including the Chief Secretary and Home Secretary, wanted separate polls.
“Meetings will be held to assimilate the feedback… A decision will be taken after that. If needed, another round of discussion can be held with the Home Secretary,” said a source. — With ENS, new Delhi