Srinagar: The Election Commission has decided to defer the Lok Sabha bypoll to Anantnag constituency to May 25 following feedback of state election authorities. The EC is also likely to take a call on holding repoll in polling centres which saw unprecedented violence and poor voter turnout in the bypoll to Srinagar Lok Sabha seat Sunday.
Earlier on Monday, two government schools designated as polling stations for Anantnag bypoll were set on fire and prohibitory orders imposed in Budgam and Ganderbal districts.
Following which the ruling Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP), in a hurriedly called press conference, had appealed to the EC to postpone the polls in Anantnag till the situation improves. Polling in Anantnag was scheduled for Wednesday.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's brother, Tassaduq Hussain Mufti, who is contesting from home constituency Anantnag on the PDP ticket, said. "My appeal to the Election Commission is to postpone the polls till the situation improves. It is my request".
Asked if the chief minister supports the demand, the 45-year-old cinematographer-turned-politician said the state government had given its assessment in writing to the EC, that the situation is not conducive for elections. “If my withdrawing helps in postponing the election in Anantnag to a more favourable time, I'm happy to withdraw.”
EC will shortly take a call on holding repoll in polling centres which saw unprecedented violence and poor voter turnout.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said decades of hard work to build trust in the democratic process in Kashmir has been reversed by the BJP government.
He also attacked the PDP-BJP government in the state over its "total failure".
"The elections in Kashmir reflect the total failure of the BJP/PDP alliance and the government's Kashmir policy.”
"Decades of hard work to build trust in the democratic process in Kashmir reversed in less than 3 years by the BJP government," he tweeted.
Eight people were killed yesterday in firing by security forces in the Srinagar Lok Sabha bypoll in Jammu and Kashmir. Only 7.14 per cent of the electorate came out to cast their votes in the constituency....