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Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti urge EC against postponing polls in Anantnag-Rajouri constituency

National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti have jointly appealed to the Election Commission (EC) to refrain from postponing the polls in the Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat.

Edited By: Vaidehi Jahagirdar Srinagar Published on: April 26, 2024 14:14 IST
Mehbooba Mufti Omar Abdullah
Image Source : PTI (FILE IMAGE) Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti and National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah

Amid speculations over the deferment of polls in the Anantnag-Rajouri constituency, said to be held in the third phase, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah and PDP President Mehbooba Mufti appealed to the poll body not to do the same. 

In a separate press statement, the former Jammu and Kashmir's chief ministers asked the Election Commission of India not to postpone the polls in the constituency. Significantly, the statement by the leaders comes as the EC has sought a report from J&K's Chief Secretary, Atal Dulloo, and the Chief Electoral Officer, as the poll body had received a request by some parties to reschedule the poll date for the Parliamentary Constituency, citing inclement weather conditions as a reason. 

Speaking to the media in Srinagar, the NC leader said, "I appeal to the EC that such a step should not be taken. The demand for postponement is not from all parties. The weird thing is that some of the people who have written to the EC are not contesting. If I write to the EC about constituencies in Tamil Nadu, etc., will they take notice?" 

Similarly, in her statement to reporters from the Surankote area of Poonch district, Mehbooba said, “They all have ganged up against me because they do not want to see me in Parliament. The people, cutting across religious and party lines, are coming forward in my support, and they are, therefore, using the Election Commission to defer and rig the elections.".

The PDP leader said she travelled through the Mughal road, which was recently opened for traffic.

In her appeal, Mehbooba further highlighted that deferring voting in the Anantnag-Rajouri seat may send the wrong message and have serious consequences.

She referred to the alleged rigging in the 1987 assembly elections, leading to the eruption of militancy in J-K. The PDP leader said, “We request the Election Commission not to do such an adventure as the people in J-K have already suffered a lot and have little faith left in the electoral process.”

Meanwhile, replying to a question over the rescheduling of the poll in Anantnag-Rajouri, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said the EC is an independent institution and whatever decision it takes with regard to elections in the Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat will be followed by the BJP.

It is pertinent to note that Anantnag-Rajouri parliamentary constituency is scheduled to go to polls in the third phase on May 7 and will seal the fate of 21 candidates, including Mehbooba, who is facing a major challenge from National Conference leader and former minister Mian Altaf. The BJP has not fielded any candidates and is contemplating its support for one of the contestants not linked to Congress, NC, or PDP.

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