EC orders repolling in Srinagar’s 38 booths

Kashmiri women wail during the funeral procession of Ali Muhammad Dagga, who died after coming under attack of stone pelters, in Srinagar on Tuesday.

Kashmiri women wail during the funeral procession of Ali Muhammad Dagga, who died after coming under attack of stone pelters, in Srinagar on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

Congress cries foul over deferment of Anantnag byelection

Repolling at 38 booths will be held for the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat, which saw widespread violence on Sunday that left eight civilians dead, on April 13.

Chief Electoral Officer Shantmanu said the Election Commission’s decision on repolling was taken for those centres “where polling was hit by violence”.

All these booths are in violence-marred Budgam district. Scores of EVMs were snatched and damaged. The counting for the Srinagar parliamentary seat will be held on April 15.

The EC on Monday deferred the bypolls for the Anantnag seat to May 25. The decision has evoked sharp reactions from several political parties.

‘Unilateral decision’

Congress leader G.A. Mir, who was a joint candidate of the Congress-National Conference alliance, on Tuesday called for Governor’s rule in the State.

“I will withdraw (nomination) if the Governor’s rule is not imposed in the State. The inability of the PDP-led coalition government in providing a peaceful atmosphere for the byelection has proved Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s failure,” said Mr. Mir, who had opposed deferment of the bypoll.

Mr. Mir accused the EC of “partiality” and termed its decision as “unilateral”. “The copies send to ECI by the government were even not provided to us. We were told that a decision with regard to deferment will be taken collectively, but the government took a unilateral decision and made a mockery of democracy,” he said.

He claimed the Chief Minister was “hell-bent to see his brother as Member of Parliament”.

Opposing the poll deferment, National Conference working president and former CM Omar Abdullah said, “Situation isn’t conducive for polls in Anantnag but it’s conducive for a repoll in the areas worst affected by violence on the 9th. Logic??”

“I have to ask the ECI, Central and State govt. what miracle are they expecting will happen between now & May 25th to allow smooth election?” asked Mr. Abdullah in a tweet.

Independent MLA Engineer Rasheed termed the deferment as “surrender before commitment and resentment of masses”.

Syedah Aasiyeh Andrabi, chairperson of the Dukhtaran-e-Millat said, “People have clearly shown that India and its puppets stand rejected in Kashmir. Complete defiance by the people of Budgam failed any assumptions and presumptions of these stooges,” she said.

No shutdown

Separatists on Tuesday withdrew the shutdown call for April 12. “The shutdown call for Wednesday has been withdrawn keeping in view the postponement of the bypolls,” said Hurriyat spokesman Ayaz Akbar.

Meanwhile, JKLF chairman Yasin Malik who was arrested on March 18, was presented before the additional sessions judge. He was remanded into five-day custody, a JKLF spokesman said.

For the third consecutive day on Tuesday, a separatists-backed shutdown threw life out of gear in the Valley.

As situation showed improvement, broadband internet services were restored on Tuesday. However, data services to mobile phones remained suspended. The authorities snapped the services on April 9, the day bypolls for Srinagar seat was held.

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 1:35:54 PM |

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