Assembly Polls In J-K Not To Be Held Along With LS Polls — EC - Eastern Mirror
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Assembly polls in J-K not to be held along with LS polls — EC

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By PTI Updated: Mar 10, 2019 10:53 pm

New Delhi, March 10 (PTI): Assembly elections will not be held in Jammu and Kashmir along with the Lok Sabha elections due to security reasons, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said Sunday, triggering criticism from the National Conference and People’s Democratic Party.
The state has been under Governor’s rule after the alliance between the BJP and People’s Democratic Party fell apart in June last year.
Arora said considering constraint of availability of central forces, other logistics and recent incidents of violence, the EC has decided to hold only Lok Sabha polls in J-K.

However, the EC’s decision was criticised by National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, saying assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir are not being held on time for the first time since 1996.

In a series of tweets, he also wondered what happened to Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s assurance to Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha as well as to an all party meeting recently that all forces would be made available for simultaneous polls in the state.
“First time since 1996 Assembly elections in J&K are not being held on time. Remember this the next time you are praising PM Modi for his strong leadership,” he tweeted.

“In 2014 we had Lok Sabha elections on time & assembly elections on schedule even after the most devastating floods. Shows how badly the BJP & earlier the BJP-PDP mishandled J&K,” Abdullah added.

In another tweet, he said, “With the amount of international attention elections in J&K attract, I never thought PM Modi would be willing to confess his failure on a global stage but we all make mistakes and that was mine.”
PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti too slammed the EC’s decision to not hold assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir along with Lok Sabha polls.

“Decision to hold only Parliamentary elections in J&K confirms sinister designs of GoI. Not letting people elect a government is antithetical to the very idea of democracy. Also a tactic of buying time to disempower people by pushing an agenda that suits their ulterior motives,” Mufti tweeted.

Abdullah also trained his guns on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his handling of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Balakote & 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,” he tweeted.

Arora last week had visited Jammu and Kashmir to take stock of the state’s poll readiness.

EC imposes model code of conduct with immediate effect
The Election Commission on Sunday imposed model code of conduct’ with immediate effect for the Lok Sabha elections and announced that voter verifiable paper audit trail’ will be used in all polling stations this time.

Among other things, the model code of conduct bars the government from announcing any policy move that may impact voters’ decision.

Announcing the seven-phase schedule for 2019 Lok Sabha polls beginning April 11, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora also said 10 lakhs polling stations would be set up this time as against about nine lakhs in 2014.
He said model code of conduct for polls has come into immediate effect from Sunday and all political advertisements on social media will need pre-certification.

The EC said 91 constituencies will go for polls in first phase on April 11, followed by 97 constituencies in second phase on April 18.
In 2014, the Lok Sabha elections were held across nine phases, beginning on April 7 and ending on May 9. The counting of votes took place on May 16.

The total contestants in fray were 8,251, with an average of 15 candidates in each constituency. However, deposit was forfeited in case of 7,000 contestants.

A total of over 55 crore voters (66.3 per cent) exercised their vote, while there were 9.27 lakh polling stations. There were nearly 60 lakh NOTA’ votes.
Out of total 543 elected candidates, only 62 were women from 668 who had contested.

EC asks political parties to desist from displaying photos of defence personnel
The Election Commission Saturday asked political parties to “desist from displaying photographs of defence personnel” against the backdrop of a picture showing a hoarding with images of Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman as well as leaders of a party.

In a fresh instruction issued to all political parties, the EC referred to its December 2013 letter in which it had “called upon all political parties to advise their candidates and leaders to desist from displaying photographs of defence personnel or photographs functions involving defence personnel in advertisements”.

The instructions came after the photograph of a hoarding displaying pictures of the IAF pilot as well as senior BJP leaders was circulated on social media and came to the EC’s notice. However, it was not known where the hoarding had been put up.

In 2013, the defence ministry had informed the EC about photographs of defence personnel being used by leaders and candidates and had urged the poll panel to issue suitable instructions in this regard.

An Indian Air Force MiG-21 Bison, piloted by Wing Commander Varthaman, had shot down a Pakistan Air Force F-16 fighter aircraft on February 27. However, his plane was also shot down and he was arrested in Pakistan.
The pilot returned home after his nearly three-day captivity in Pakistan on March 1.

6092
By PTI Updated: Mar 10, 2019 10:53:33 pm
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