NEW DELHI: A decision on the polls in flood-hit Jammu & Kashmir is likely to be taken by the Election Commission by month-end.
Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath and Election Commissioners H S Brahma and S N Zaidi will visit Srinagar on Saturday to hold meetings with civil administration, police officials and leaders of political parties, before taking the final decision on polls due in December.
Sampath also maintained that the EC would keep an ‘open mind’, while deciding on the elections, analysing all the inputs received from various stakeholders.
The state, which was hit by unprecedented floods, is limping back to normalcy. But, questions have been raised over the timing of the elections, with thousands now homeless in Srinagar and other areas, and with the local administration pushed to ensure rehabilitation work. However, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah raked up controversy, after he opposed election, as the term of the 87-member Assembly expires on January 19.
Abdullah, who had met Home Minister Rajnath Singh early this week, pointed out that his party was of the opinion that it was not the opportune time to hold the elections. He further argued that at this moment, the affected people were struggling to rebuild their lives.
Sampath on Friday said that after a visit by the Commission, a ground report and comments from poll authorities will also be taken into account, before announcing the dates for polls.