Home ministry briefs poll panel on Kashmir

October 10th, 2008 - 9:46 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 10 (IANS) A three-member team led by Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta met the Election Commission (EC) Friday to discuss the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir and on the deployment of forces for assembly elections due later this year in the troubled state.Sources in the commission told IANS after the lengthy meeting that it would shortly announce the feasibility of holding elections.

“We will decide soon on the dates. There are so many things one has to factor in while holding elections in Jammu and Kashmir,” said a senior official.

A three-member Election Commission team led by Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami had met representatives of all 10 mainstream political parties in the state earlier this week and ascertained their views on holding elections and the prevailing situation in the state.

National Conference President Omar Abdullah did not oppose the timely conduct of the elections but Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti said the time was not conducive for polls in the state.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist also favoured a delay in the voting while the Congress maintained that they would go with the commission’s decision.

The commission discussed several issues with home ministry officials in the light of the feedback obtained from the visit before taking a final decision on announcing the dates for the polls, which are scheduled for October.

The state has been under Governor’s Rule since July 11, when the previous Congress-led coalition government was toppled after the PDP withdrew support to chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad over the bitter Amarnath land row.

Curfew was imposed last week by the authorities to thwart a proposed march by separatists to Lal Chowk in the heart of Srinagar.

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