Assembly elections will take place but ECI will decide when: Malik

Governor Satya Pal Malik on Monday said the Election Commission of India will decide when the Assembly polls will take place in Jammu & Kashmir, even as he refused to disclose the stand taken by the state administration before the poll-body on the election.

Talking to mediapersons after taking guard of honour at civil secretariat here, Malik said it was up to the ECI to decide on timing of the polls. “It is not my domain. Elections will take place but the ECI will decide when they will take place,” he said, when asked about holding of state polls. 

To a question about the stand taken by the state government before the poll-body, the Governor refused to comment on it. “I cannot say anything on it. The report given to the ECI is secret,” he said.

In its meeting with the ECI last month, the J&K government pushed for holding the state polls in November instead of June-July.

On the accusation that BJP district Vice-President for Anantnag, Ghulam Muhammad Mir was killed after withdrawal of his security, the Governor said “it is wrong to link the withdrawal of security with the killing of political activists in Kashmir”. 

“It is totally wrong to link these killings with security withdrawal because these persons were neither categorised nor their security was withdrawn,” he said, adding that the slain BJP activist was never categorized.

The Governor described the deceased as a very good, respected and senior Karikarta (worker) of BJP.

Malik added that government will look into whether withdrawal of security played any part in these killings.

“We will sit within next few days and discuss the (issue of) withdrawal of security. The Chief Secretary will inquire into whether security withdrawal played any part in these killings,” he said.

On Sunday, Governor had asked the Chief Secretary to get an inquiry conducted into the killing of political activists and directed him to look into security lapses, if any,  in these incidents.

Malik said the state has witnessed enormous development in the past seven months.

“The kind of development that has taken place in the last seven months had not been done in years in the past. We have opened 62 new colleges and upgraded 275 schools. We have also arranged Rs 7500 crore to complete languishing projects in the state,” he said.

The Governor said JehangirChowk flyover will be completed by this month. “Roads have suffered damage during the winter in Kashmir and we will soon undertake their repair,” he said, adding that there was improvement in the electric supply during the last winter in Kashmir.