Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Elections can take place ahead of the annual Amarnath Yatra that begins on July 1, news agency IANS quoted state government sources as saying. “The general consensus is that the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections can be held with adequate security deployments before this year’s Amarnath Yatra which begins on July 1,” the sources said. “There has been a re-thinking on holding the state Assembly polls.” The visit is taking place just five days after Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora announced that the Assembly polls would not be held along with the Lok Sabha polls scheduled in five phases in the state.
Three special observers appointed by the EC arrived in Srinagar on Thursday to assess the ground situation for holding Assembly Elections. The National Conference (NC), however, decided not to meet the team. "In view of the EC visit to Srinagar on Thursday, the National Conference has decided not to meet the EC delegation," a party spokesman had said.
"Our demand of having simultaneous assembly and Lok Sabha elections in the state at our earlier meetings with the EC team remains as it is. We have, therefore, nothing more to add," the spokesman said.
Former chief minister and NC vice-president Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said the Modi government had "consciously disenfranchised" the people in Jammu and Kashmir by not holding the Assembly election on time. "Dear @narendramodi Sahib, it is good to see you appealing to famous people to increase voter turnout however at the same time your government has consciously disenfranchised people in J&K by not holding Assembly elections on time (sic)," Abdullah posted on Twitter.
The sources stated that during a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik in New Delhi, it was decided that the security concerns of the state could be addressed after the voting ends on May 19.
All political parties except Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have criticised the decision to delay the Assembly polls blaming the government for deliberately doing it as "it is enjoying power through bureaucracy in J&K," according to media reports.