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EC to convene meet on Jammu and Kashmir elections

September 02, 2008 19:10 IST
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The Election Commission on Tuesday decided to convene a meeting of political parties in  New Delhi on September 8, to assess the situation in Jammu and Kashmir after doubts were expressed over the possibility of holding assembly polls in the wake of the recent violence.
A decision to call leaders of seven national parties and three state parties was taken by the commission in view of the fact that governor's rule in the state ends on January 10 and the need to hold elections on time in case the government is keen on the conduct of the democratic exercise.
The meeting would assess the situation in the state where the assembly was dissolved on July 10 and governor's rule imposed following the political crisis in the wake of the Amarnath land row, EC sources said.
The land row triggered violence in Jammu region and the Kashmir valley resulting in imposition of curfew in both parts for prolonged periods.
A sense of normalcy has returned to Jammu following the agreement with the Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangharsh Samiti but the valley continues to be tense with separatists raking up issues beyond the land controversy.
In the normal course the tenure of the assembly was to expire on November 20. However, in view of the Governor's rule imposed on July 10, the Commission has time to hold elections by January 10.
But the difficulty for the Commission is that if elections are to be held then it has to be done by November because of weather conditions in the valley which are not conducive after the onset of winter.
After getting inputs from political parties, the EC is expected to meet the Union Home Secretary to take government's view on elections.

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