Farooq Abdullah

How Is Security Alright For Parliamentary Polls And Not For State Elections?: Farooq Abdullah

Farooq Abdullah

National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah on Saturday said that it is disheartening to see that the Election Commission of India has decided not to conduct Parliamentary and Assembly polls simultaneously in Jammu and Kashmir.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister said that on one hand, the poll body has also decided to conduct Assembly elections in four states which will be coinciding with the Lok Sabha polls but Jammu and Kashmir has been denied this opportunity.

Speaking to ANI, Farooq Abdullah said, “On one side the Govt of India wanted One Nation, One Election and on the other side, they are holding State elections and parliamentary elections in four states, why is this (J-K) being denied? When every party wanted elections (in J-K) then what is the reason it is not being done?”

Earlier in the day, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar informed that polls in the Union Territory could not be held after taking inputs from the Jammu and Kashmir administration. He also said that additional forces are required to conduct simultaneous polls in J-K.

“During our recent visit to Srinagar and Jammu, the J&K Administration told us that two elections can’t be held at the same time due to more security requirements. Administration told us that there will be roughly 10 to 12 candidates for each assembly segment which means approximately, there will be 1,000 candidates in fray,” CEC Kumar said.

“This means each candidate needs to be given proper security cover and for that, there was more requirement of additional forces. The Commission is committed to holding Assembly polls in J-K soon after Lok Sabha polls when security forces will be available,” he added.

Questioning the observations made by CEC Kumar, Farooq Abdullah said, “If they say security is the reason, I do not think so. How is that security is alright for the parliamentary elections and not for the state elections?”

Earlier, the National Conference president Farooq Abdullah in December last year had questioned the delay in the restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir and holding Assembly elections there, saying that people in the Union Territory want an elected government at the earliest.

“I hope that the government will understand the expectations and aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and hold the elections as soon as possible. The last elections were held way back in 2014 and people have been keenly awaiting another opportunity to get their fingers inked. The Elections Commission, itself, directed the central government to hold the elections by September next year,” Abdullah said.

Earlier, on December 11, the Supreme Court directed the Election Commission to take necessary steps for holding elections to the legislative assembly of Jammu and Kashmir by September 30, next year.

On August 5, 2019, the Centre announced the revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir granted under Article 370 and split the region into two UTs. (ANI)

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