The order virtually rules out a bypoll before October, due to Ramzan in May-June & Amarnath Yatra, due to take place from last week of June.
New Delhi: The Election Commission has cancelled the byelection in Anantag in Jammu and Kashmir, that was due to be held on May 25, citing the law and order situation in the state, which it said was not conducive to the holding of polls.
In a 10-page order late Monday night, the EC said it was informed by state government officials that the situation in the area “is not good, the overall situation is scary and not very conducive (to the holding of polls)”.
The bypoll, earlier due to be held on April 12, was put off till May 25 due to the poor law and order situation. The EC order said a fresh date would be announced later.
Highly-placed commission sources said the EC had asked the Union home ministry to provide around 740 companies of paramilitary personnel to be deployed for the bypoll. However, the home ministry had said it could only give around 300. A company usually comprises around 100 paramilitary personnel.
The entire Kashmir Valley has witnessed a surge in stone-pelting incidents. Clashes have also taken place between groups of students from colleges and schools and the police. The Union government has recently ruled out holding talks with the separatists. After studying all aspects, the commission found there had been no “marked improvement” in the law and order situation after April 10, when the EC had deferred the byelection.
The order said on the contrary, reports pointed out that a further and continuous deterioration in the situation and incidents of stone-pelting, violence and rioting had been taking place. “The apprehension expressed by the chief electoral officer that there may be reluctance on the part of polling personnel to go to the polling locations in view of the fear in their minds with regard to their safety and security is also a matter of concern,” the commission order said.