Mainstream parties in Jammu and Kashmir ask Election Commission to hold simultaneous elections

File photo. Photograph:( ANI )

WION Jammu and Kashmir Mar 04, 2019, 06.40 PM (IST) Written By: Ieshan Bashir Wani

A three-member team of Election Commission of India (ECI) lead by Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Sharma landed in Srinagar on a two-day visit to access the situation for the conduct of Lok Sabha and local assembly elections.

Members from several mainstream political parties both national and regional met the team in Srinagar just some metres away from the famous Dal lake. The political delegations have given their inputs to the team on the upcoming elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

All the parties after meeting the team said that they had asked ECI to hold Lok Sabha and state assembly elections simultaneously, given the security situation.

The first delegation to meet the ECI was Congress, which was led by its senior leader and former minister Taj Mohiuddin. Taj told the media that their party wants simultaneous elections. “Security situation has been same, be it 1996, 2008 or 2014, elections were held,” he said.

His comment has come amid speculations that the local assembly elections may not be held with Lok Sabha elections. The state is currently under President's rule after the fall of PDP-BJP collation government. 

Interestingly, PDP also chose to favour elections in the state. Earlier their party chief and former chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti had told media that she wasn’t for elections given the circumstances.

“The Governor rule is temporary. Free and fair elections should be held in the state as people want a civilian government so that their issues are resolved. There is no alternative to an elected government. We have given our point of view to the ECI that elections should be held,” Senior PDP leader Abdur Rehman Veeri told outside the venue of the meeting.

While the oldest regional party, National conference also echoed the same tune. Party General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar said that the credibility of Election Commission of India was at stake and voice of people should be heard.

The team also met top officials of the J&K police, district authorities and other top security officials to get a perspective on the prevailing situation.

The team will leave for Jammu and meet the stakeholders there and take their feedback. The ECI is expected to brief the media on Tuesday. 

Story highlights

All the parties after meeting the team said that they had asked ECI to hold Lok Sabha and state assembly elections simultaneously, given the security situation.