Election Commission begins consultation with political parties in J&K to review LS poll preparedness

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Srinagar: The Election Commission on Tuesday began consultations with political parties in Jammu and Kashmir to review preparedness for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in the Union territory.

Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and other officials of the poll panel, who arrived here on Monday for a three-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, held interactions with delegations from the National Conference, PDP, BJP, CPI(M), Congress, and the Aam Admi Party, officials said here.

National Conference leader Nasir Aslam Wani, who led his party’s delegation, said they impressed upon the Election Commission the need for holding assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir together with the Lok Sabha polls.

“We told the commission that it has been 10 years that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have been deprived of their democratic rights. The commission gave us a patient hearing,” Wani said.

PDP leader Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura said his party also batted for holding assembly and Lok Sabha elections simultaneously. “It is now up to the Election Commission to decide on this,” he told reporters after the meeting.

After the meeting with political parties, the poll panel will hold a detailed review of the election preparedness with District Election Officers and superintendents of police, officials said.

Later in the evening, the Election Commission officials will interact with Jammu and Kashmir chief electoral officer P K Pole and nodal officers of the state police.

The election commission officials will hold similar interactions in Jammu on Wednesday.

There has been a growing demand from political quarters in Jammu and Kashmir that the Election Commission should hold Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls or immediately after the general elections.

Former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah and Ghulam Nabi Azad have raised this demand in the past two weeks.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary Atal Dulloo on Saturday held a meeting with the civil and police administration to sensitise them about the measures to be taken for the smooth conduct of the Lok Sabha polls in the Union Territory.

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