Election Commission of India (ECI) Saturday assured that if it announces assembly elections for Jammu and Kashmir it will make sure that ongoing relief and rehabilitation process will not get disturbed. Full ECI comprising of the Chief commissioner, VS Sampath, and two commissioners, HS Brahma and Naseem Zaidi was on a day long visit to Srinagar where it held interactions with all the stakeholders before deciding whether to hold the elections on time or not.
“We met all the political parties, officials and other stakeholders and got their feedback, it will take some time to decide about the conduct of elections,” chief election commissioner VS Sampath told reporters. He added “If we decide to conduct elections on time we will make sure that relief and rehabilitation process should not get hampered.”
Ruling National Conference is opposing the conduct of elections on the ground that it can disturb the relief and rehabilitation process. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah recently said while opposing the conduct of elections on time saying “time is not conducive for election sin J&K.”
Devastating floods hit the state in the first week of September resulting in the unimaginable damage to residential houses, trade, agriculture, horticulture and all the other aspects of life.
CEC said they met all the political parties, officials and had video conferences with district administrations who provided them the necessary feedback. When asked if the administration was prepared for holding election, CEC said they are thoroughly prepared.
Election Commissioner Brahma said they had detailed discussions with the stakeholders and will settle the issue once they are back to Delhi. “We want to tackle Jharkhand and J&K together,” he said. “We also have to take care of the availability of forces.”
The new government in the state has to be in place before January 19, 2015 when the six-year term of the present Assembly ends.