Abdulla said that it is for the first time since 1996 that the Assembly elections in the state are not being held on time.
Srinaga: The Assembly polls in Arunachal Pradesh, Arunachal, Odisha and Sikkim will be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections but not in Jammu and Kashmir due to security reasons, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said on Sunday.
The EC decision to not hold Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections along with those for the Lok Sabha has come as a big disappointment to the mainstream political parties of the state.
The former chief minister and leader of National Conference (NC), Omar Abdullah, was the first to express his dismay. He alleged that by delaying the state Assembly polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has surrendered to Pakistan, militants, and separatist Hurriyat Conference.
He said that it is for the first time since 1996 that the Assembly elections in the state are not being held on time.
He recalled that in 2014, J&K had had both Lok Sabha and Assembly elections held on time even after the Kashmir Valley and parts of Jammu region were hit by devastating floods. The decision to not hold Assembly elections along with the LoK Sabha polls this time “shows how badly BJP and the earlier BJP-PDP mishandled J&K.”
He tweeted, “Balakot & Uri are not symbols of PM Modi’s handling of national security. J&K is, and look at the mess he has made there. The abject surrender to anti-India forces is a crying shame.”
PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, while reacting to the EC’s decision, wrote on Twitter, “Decision to hold only Parliamentary elections in J&K confirms sinister designs of GoI (government of India). Not letting people elect a government is antithetical to the very idea of democracy.”
CPI(M) leader Moham-mad Yousuf Tarigami said that the EC’s decision not to hold J&K Assembly elections has disappointed the people of the state in general.
Earlier, Mr Arora, while announcing the schedule for the Lok Sabha elections at a press conference in New Delhi, said: “EC recently visited J&K, met political parties and government officials. Due to constraints in number of security forces and recent violent incidents in Jammu and Kashmir there will be no Assembly elections in the state.”
He also said a three-member panel of observers will be appointed to assess the security situation for holding the Assembly election later.
The EC had, during its two-day visit of the state earlier this month, held a series of meetings with the delegations of various mainstream parties, officials of the state government, and various security forces to assess the feasibility of holding the Lok Sabha and the Assembly elections simultaneously.
Various political parties, including the NC, PDP, Congress, and Communist Party of India (Marxist), were unanimous on their view that the elections to the Assembly should be held immediately “to put an end to political uncertainly in the state.”
J&K was brought under governor’s rule in June last year after the collapse of the PDP-BJP coalition government. The governor’s rule was replaced by President’s rule in November 2018.