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No question of postponing J&K polls, says EC

By A Correspondent in Delhi
November 15, 2008 15:46 IST
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Cabinet Secretary KM Chandrasekhar asked Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami to seek a meeting with Metrological Department on the possible snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir and its effect on the first phase of polling in the Valley.

Gopalaswami categorically told the government that there is no question of postponing the polls.

Heavy snowfall has made movement in Jammu and Kashmir difficult, but the Election Commission is determined not to postpone the elections.

The polling for the first phase will take place as scheduled on Monday, EC sources said on Friday night when asked to comment on the National Conference's plea for postponing the polls citing inclement weather as the reason.

"We will ensure by all means that the polling teams and the voting machines reach the polling booths and the booths open on time," an EC official said. He said, "We will do our job and it is for the political parties to ensure people come and cast their votes. That is not our responsibility."

The Election Commission is arranging helicopters to airlift polling staff and the electronic voting machines to the places that will remain inaccessible because of the road blockades until Sunday morning, the official said.

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A Correspondent in Delhi