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EC consults political parties over J&K polls

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
Last updated on: September 08, 2008 14:49 IST
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The Election Commission has started deliberations with national and regional political parties to finalise the date for the Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections.

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The Left parties, led by the Communist Party of India, was one of the parties that presented its case before the EC team comprising Chief Election commissioner N S Gopalaswamy, Nawin Chawla and S Y Qureshi.

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The Bharatiya Janata Party too put forward its stand on the matter. The party claimed that some vested interests didn't want elections to be held in the state. The EC should go ahead with the process and elections should be held between October and November, according to the BJP.

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National Conference leader Omar Abdullah also met the EC team and discussed the upcoming J&K polls.
"We were called to give our views but nobody asked us whether the elections should be held now or later. I was asked what I thought of the developments in Jammu and Kashmir and I gave my own assessment," Abdullah told journalists after the meeting.

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Congress remained non committal about the issue, while the National Panthers, headed by Bhim Singh, demanded that constituencies should be reorganised before the assembly elections. The People's Democratic Party stated that this was not the right time to hold elections in the state.

The EC team will also visit the state to take stock of the ground situation, in the wake of the recent unrest over the Amarnath land issue.

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The Home Ministry is also expected to submit a report on the situation in J&K to the EC.

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi