EC manages to find new excuses to delay Jammu and Kashmir polls: Omar Abdullah
Abdullah said it has been eight years since the last assembly elections were conducted in J-K, and five years since it had an elected government.
SRINAGAR: The Election Commission seems to be in no hurry to conduct the assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir and manages to find "new excuses to delay" the elections, National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah said on Wednesday.
"When asked about assembly elections in J&K, the chief election commissioner acknowledged a 'vacuum that needs to be filled'. Yet surprisingly the @ECISVEEP seems to be in no hurry to conduct elections, on the contrary, they manage to find new excuses to delay polls," Abdullah wrote on Twitter.
He was referring to the comments made by Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar at a presser in New Delhi called to announce the Karnataka poll dates.
Abdullah said it has been eight years since the last assembly elections were conducted in J-K, and five years since it had an elected government. "It's plainly obvious the BJP in J&K is terrified of facing the people but it isn't the job of the Election Commission to give the BJP a shield to cower behind," the former chief minister said.
There is vacuum that needs to be filled: CEC Kumar on J-K polls
Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar on Wednesday said the fresh revision of electoral rolls in Jammu and Kashmir does not disturb schedule or conduct part of polls and the poll panel is aware that there is a "vacuum" in the Union territory which needs to be filled.
Kumar said in J-K, the special summary revision took place taking October 1 as the qualifying date, whereas in the rest of the country, January 1 is the qualifying or cut-off date.
"We went for October 1 as the qualifying date there (J-K) as we wanted to complete the process as fast as possible. This process (fresh special summary revision) is to bring them (J-K) at par as far as the voters' list is concerned," he told reporters at a press conference convened to announce the schedule for the Karnataka assembly polls.
Kumar was responding to a question on the fresh special summary revision of electoral rolls in the Union territory.
"But nonetheless, it does not disturb the scheduled part, the conduct part that depends on various other factors which we will come back to you. We are aware that there is a vacuum that needs to be filled," the CEC said.
A few days ago, the poll panel had ordered a fresh special summary revision of the electoral rolls in Jammu and Kashmir.
While April 1 has been set as the qualifying date for the summary revision, May 10 is the date for publication of the final electoral rolls.
Following a recent amendment in the election law based on the recommendation of the poll panel, there are four qualifying dates or cut-off dates --- January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 - to enrol as voters.
Earlier, January 1 was the only cut-off date.
Recently, Kumar had said that assembly polls in J&K will be held keeping in mind various factors, including weather and security concerns.
He had noted that the delimitation process in the UT was completed and so was the special summary revision or revision of electoral roll.
The CEC had said returning officers and additional electoral registration officers had also been appointed in the rearranged and new constituencies.