SRI NAGAR: The Election Commission has said that further consultations will be held in New Delhi regarding the schedule for Jammu and Kashmir Assembly polls and asserted that the “elections won’t interfere in relief operations in the flood-hit state”.
“We will return to Delhi and hold further consultations. The consultations to decide on the timing of Assembly polls in the state will continue till we arrive at a decision,” Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) V S Sampath, who was flanked by Election Commissioners, B S Brahma and Nasim Zaidi, told reporters here.
The EC team arrived here on Saturday to assess the post-flood situation in the state. It held interactions with representatives of the various political parties and government officials and sought their opinion on holding the elections.
The tenure of the 11th J&K Assembly expires on January 19 and elections have to be completed in December. The EC was also briefed on the relief and rehabilitation measures being carried out in the affected areas through a video conferencing with the Divisional Commissioners, District Commissioners and district police chiefs.
Election Commissioner H S Brahma said the Commission had wide-ranging discussions with all the political parties as well as civil and police officials. ”
Earlier, the EC held talks with representatives of political parties in the state to seek their opinion on holding Assembly elections in the state. Barring the ruling National Conference (NC), all other parties including its ally Congress favoured holding of the polls on time.
“We told the Election Commission that it is time to focus on rebuilding the lives of flood-affected people rather than conducting elections. The elections should be deferred for some time,” the NC general secretary said.
J&K Congress vice-president and MLC Ghulam Nabi Monga said the party has told the EC that it favours conduct of Assembly polls in the state on time.
PDP spokesman Naeem Akhtar said the party had made it clear that it was for holding the polls on time. In an oblique reference to the NC, Naeem Akhtar said the parties which favoured deferment of elections wanted more time to lure the voters.