CEO favours simultaneous polls forAnantnag, Srinagar in March-April

Favouring deferment of by-polls for Anantnag parliamentary segment, J&K’s Chief Electoral Officer has proposed to the Election Commission of India to hold polls simultaneously for both vacant seats of Kashmir in March-April 2017, sources told Greater Kashmir.
CEO favours simultaneous polls forAnantnag, Srinagar in March-April

Favouring deferment of by-polls for Anantnag parliamentary segment, J&K's Chief Electoral Officer has proposed to the Election Commission of India to hold polls simultaneously for both vacant seats of Kashmir in March-April 2017, sources told Greater Kashmir. Srinagar parliamentary seat has also fallen vacant after the resignation of Tariq Hameed Karra.

Highly placed sources revealed that CEO, Shantamanu, has submitted a detailed report to the ECI on Thursday.

"The CEO has proposed that poll process for both the seats should be completed by April 10," they said.

While Anantnag segment seat fell vacant on July 4 after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti resigned from membership of the parliament to contest Assembly seat, the high-profile Srinagar seat became vacant on October 17 in the wake of Karra's resignation.

Under the law governing holding of elections, the poll process for Anantnag and Srinagar seats has to be completed by January 3, 2017 and April 16, 2017 respectively.

According to sources, the CEO pitched for deferring the by-poll for Anantnag citing "prevailing law and order situation and harsh weather in Kashmir in the next three months."

As already reported by Greater Kashmir, political parties in J&K are divided over timing of the by-poll for Anantnag segment.

While PDP and its ally BJP pushed for deferring the polls, the opposition National Conference and Congress asserted that they are ready for polls but demanded that Centre and State Governments should first make conducive atmosphere for the process.

Other opposition parties also supported the stand of NC and Congress on timing of the polls.

On October 17, Chief Secretary BR Sharma had conveyed to the poll-body that situation was "not conducive" for holding free and fair polls at this stage.

In a detailed letter to the Chief Election Commissioner DrNasim Zaidi, the CS pointed out  that situation in J&K was not conducive for holding the by-polls as well as for canvassing of candidates in the southern segment which has been an epicenter of protests and clashes since July 8.

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