Jammu, March 14: The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections are likely to happen ahead of the annual Amarnath Yatra beginning July 1, according to a report.
“The general consensus is that the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections can be held with adequate security deployments before this year’s Amarnath Yatra which begins on July 1,” sources told IANS.
The sources further said, “There has been a re-thinking on holding the state Assembly polls. Three observers appointed by the Election Commission (EC) are arriving here today (Thursday).”
The sources also added that the team will meet political parties’ representatives, district level officers, the Chief Secretary of the State and the Director General of Police.
The EC visit to Jammu and Kashmir is taking place just five days after the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora announced that the Assembly polls will not be held along with the Lok Sabha polls slated to happen in five phases in the state.
The sources stated that during a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik in New Delhi, it was decided that the security concerns of the state could be addressed after the voting ends on May 19.
All political parties except Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have criticised the decision to delay the Assembly polls blaming the government for deliberately doing it as “it is enjoying power through bureaucracy in J&K.”
Former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah took to Twitter to lambast Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that he had “consciously disenfranchised” the people of the state by not holding the two elections simultaneously.
The EC had on March 10 announced the dates for Assembly polls in four states, however, it did not give any dates for J&K on account of security reasons which was also denounced by People’s Democratic Party Chief Mehbooba Mufti, who labeled the decision as a sign of the Union government’s “sinister designs”.