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Election: NC, CPI (M), PDF, DPN boycott meet with special observers while Congress, PDP pitch for simultaneous polls

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By Ovais Gull

Srinagar: The mainstream political parties including National Conference (NC), CPI (M), Peoples Democratic Front (PDF) and Democratic Party Nationalist (DPN) on Thursday didn’t met with the Observers of Election Commission of India who are on visit to the Valley to assess the situation on ground for the conduct of assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir.

After facing criticism for withholding the assembly polls in the State, three ‘special observers’ were appointed by the poll-body to “assess the ground situation” for holding the state elections. The three special observers include former IAS officers Vinod Zutshi, Noor Muhammad, and former IPS officer A S Gill.

The leaders of the mainstream parties including NC, CPI (M), PDF and DPN told INS that didn’t meet the ECI delegation today regarding the conduct of assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir.

They said that they already met the EC team headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and have apprised them about the ground situation  assessed by them for the polls here.

“We have already pitched for the simultaneous elections in the State. We have nothing to say in this regard now,” they said.

However, the two parties including state Congress and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) met the ECI delegation here and sought simultaneous elections here.

The Congress delegation headed by former minister and senior leader Taj Mohi-ud-din and former MLA Bandipora Usman Majeed while as PDP delegation headed by former minister and former MLA Sonwar, Muhammad Ashraf Mir and former MLA Batamaloo Noor Muhammad met the ‘Special Observers’ here and reiterated their demand of simultaneous elections in the State.

Nonetheless, the two parties including Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Peoples Conference (PC) could not be contacted to have comments in this regard.

Earlier, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday announced seven-phase parliamentary polls, but decided not to hold assembly elections in J&K, which is presently under the president’s rule.

Pertinently, on March 04, a high-level delegation of the ECI arrived Srinagar on a 2-day visit to J&K for consultations with various political parties, state administration and other stakeholders ahead of upcoming election-2019.

The team began its visit by meeting the representatives of various political parties in Kashmir Valley to seek their opinion regarding the elections.

Election commissioners, Sushil Chandra and Ashok Lavasa, Deputy Election Commissioner, Sandeep Saxena, Director General ECI, Dilip Kumar, ADG Sheyphali Sharan, Director Nikhil Kumar, Chief Electoral Officer J&K, Shailendra Kumar were present during the meeting. 

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