Assembly polls in 4 states with LS elections
NEW DELHI: The assembly polls in Arunachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, 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.
Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim will go to the polls for all seats in their respectively assemblies as well as the Lok Sabha in the first phase on April 11.
Parliamentary and assembly polls will be held in Odisha across the first four phases on April 11, April 18, April 23 and April 29, respectively.
The Jammu and Kashmir assembly was dissolved in November last year, months after the Mehbooba Mufti-headed government in the state fell following the BJP withdrawing support to it in June.
Arora said the Election Commission decided to announce the schedule for only Lok Sabha polls in the state and not for the assembly elections due to inputs it had received from authorities regarding constraint of availability of central forces for enforcing security in the wake of recent violence.
Even the parliamentary election for the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat in the state is going to be held in three phases, he said, underscoring the security challenge in the region.
National Conference leader and former state chief minister Omar Abdullah slammed withholding of assembly elections and criticised the Modi government.
“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 light of the failure to conduct assembly elections on time in J&K I’m retweeting my tweets from a few days ago. PM Modi has surrendered to Pakistan, to the militants & to the Hurriyat. Well done Modi Sahib. 56-inch chest failed. #slowclap,” Abdullah wrote on Twitter.
J&K pradesh Congress committee president G A Mir said the tall claims of the Union government with regards to the situation in Jammu and Kashmir stand “exposed” as the Centre has itself certified that situation is out of control and not conducive for holding simultaneous polls.
Mir said it was the golden chance for the Centre to hold assembly election in order to give an elected government to the people as all the political parties were of the opinion that simultaneously elections should be held in the state.
“But, the Centre has once again failed to hold assembly elections citing the reason as volatile situation which is indicative of utter failure of the Centre to respect the urges and aspirations of the people,” he said.
Senior CPI-M leader and former MLA M Y Tarigami said the Election Commission decision has disappointed the people of the state in general.
“This was done despite that almost all the political parties had urged upon the Election Commission to hold both the elections simultaneously. Not holding assembly polls will send wrong signals to people within and outside the state,” he said.