Despite PDP plea, ECI goes ahead with RS poll notifications

Greater Kashmir

Election deferment discussed at ‘highest levels’ in Centre

Srinagar, Jan 21: The Election Commission of India Wednesday went ahead with the issuance of notifications for election to J&K’s four Rajya Sabha seats despite the Peoples Democratic Party making efforts to get the polls deferred for some time, sources said.
Following the PDP’s request, sources said, the Government of India “seriously considered” deferring the polls but “couldn’t convince the ECI.”
“Even on Wednesday morning, the matter was discussed at highest levels at the Centre, but to no avail,” they said.
As already reported by Greater Kashmir, PDP patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed met the Governor NN Vohra last week, urging him to “explore the possibility of deferring the polls till the political stalemate over the government formation ends.”
Meanwhile, the ECI issued three separate notifications for holding the RS polls on February 7.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Returning Officer for Rajya Sabha polls (Secretary, J&K Legislative Assembly) Muhammad Ramzan said three notifications have been issued for polls to four Rajya Sabha seats.
“We have issued separate notifications for the first two seats,” he said, adding, “And one notification has been issued for the third and fourth seat.”
According to the notifications, January 28 is the last day for filing of nominations while scrutiny of nomination forms will be taken up on January 29. January 31 is the last date for withdrawal of candidature(s).
The election as well as counting will take place on February 7.
The PDP, which is reportedly engaged in secret talks with the Bharatiya Janata Party over government formation, fears holding of the polls at this stage could jeopardize its parleys with the right-wing party apart from damaging its poll prospects.
The BJP on other hand is desperate to bag at least two seats to represent J&K in the Rajya Sabha where it is in minority.