Election Commission cancels by poll of Loksabha for Anantnag, Jammu and Kashmir

Election Commission cancels by poll of Loksabha for Anantnag, Jammu and Kashmir

After the violence during the Srinagar by-elections, Election Commission has cancelled the Anantnag Loksabha by-poll and scheduled it for May 25. According to an Election Commission official, the poll panel in an order issued by midnight while state government had earlier sought cancellation of the by poll due to the prevailing law and order situation in the Kashmir Valley. Election Commission further added that State Administration in its reports dated 16th and 17th March 2017 informed that certain elements have started an anti-election campaign against the upcoming by-elections.

According to the sources, Election Commission had sought deployment of around 740 companies of paramilitary personnel for the by-poll. The Home Ministry, however, said it could only provide around 300. A company usually has around 100 troopers.

Election Commission had earlier requested for over 600 companies of security forces for successfully carrying out the Anantnag by-poll. However, the Ministry of Home Affairs could commit only 250 companies. It added that by-election to the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat “will be held by the Commission in due course when the situation becomes conducive to the holding of free, fair and peaceful election”.

Polling for the Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency, which is vacated last year by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti after her election to the Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly. It was initially scheduled for April 12 but now Election Commission postponed it until May 25 because of following large-scale violence during the Srinagar Lok Sabha by-poll which held on April 9. During the Srinagar by-poll, elections eight people died and over 100 were injured in violence which also saw the lowest turnout in thirty years at seven percent. Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and Senior National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah won the by-poll election of Srinagar.

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Pallavi Parmar

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