'Ready for Assembly Polls in JK'

The Northlines - - FRONT PAGE -

JAMMU TAWI, JAN 11: Jammu and Kash­mir Gov­er­nor Satya Pal Ma­lik on Fri­day said the ad­min­is­tra­tion was ready for assembly elections in the state and a call in this direc­tion should be taken by the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion and New Delhi.

"When­ever, they (EC) tell us, we are ready for the polls (to assembly)," he told re­porters after the oath-tak­ing cer­e­mony of sarpanch of Jammu re­gion.

On IAS of­fi­cer Shah Fae­sal's res­ig­na­tion, Mr Ma­lik said he him­self was a gov­ern­ment em­ployee and did not wish to com­ment on the mat­ter.

The Elec­tion Com­mis­sion (EC) had in Novem­ber last said fresh elections in Jammu and Kash­mir would be held within the next six months, even as the body did not rule out the pos­si­bil­ity of hold­ing the state polls be­fore the Lok Sabha polls due this year.

"The Jammu and Kash­mir assembly polls

must be held on the first oc­ca­sion be­fore May. It could be held be­fore the par­lia­men­tary elections also," Chief Elec­tion Com­mis­sioner O P Rawat had said.

He said as per the Supreme Court, the outer limit for hold­ing fresh polls after the dis­so­lu­tion of the House was six months, that is May, 2019.

It may be re­called that the cen­tral gov­ern­ment on De­cem­ber 28 told the Lok Sabha that Jammu and Kash­mir Gov­er­nor had no op­tion but to rec­om­mend Pres­i­dent's Rule in the state as no party or al­liance staked claim to form the gov­ern­ment.

On Tuesday, for­mer chief min­is­ter Omar Ab­dul­lah said the assembly polls should be held "as soon as pos­si­ble". The National Con­fer­ence (NC) vice pres­i­dent also took a dig at some politi­cians and bu­reau­crats for "cre­at­ing hur­dles" in hold­ing of assembly elections along with the Lok Sabha polls in the state.

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