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Poll prep: No ECI team visiting JK for now

Srinagar, Jan 28: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shailendra Kumar Monday said he has not received any intimation from the Election Commission of India (ECI) about any visit of its team for reviewing the poll arrangements in view of the forthcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

Kumar, as per news agency KNS, said he “will share if ECI plans any such visit in the future”.
Final decision about the polls, sources said, will be taken after a fortnight after thorough consultations with police, political parties, and secretary education.

 

Earlier media reports said that an ECI team was planning to visit both Kashmir and Jammu divisions on January 27 and 28 for on spot assessment of the situation regarding the holding of assembly elections.

The team, headed by Chief Election Commissioner, Sunil Arora, was to take a final call on whether to hold simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the State or defer the Assembly elections by a few months.

However, sources confirmed, the team has postponed its visit to the state due to unknown reasons.

A source, however, said that the crucial meeting was held in New Delhi by the ECI where in the situation was assessed threadbare and it has decided to put any decision about the polls on hold

Though the entire mainstream camp, National Conference, Congress and the Peoples Conference besides independent candidates support early polls, PDP is the sole party that is not in the poll mode due to the mass rebellion party has faced of late.

The ECI, as per sources, have been told by the security agencies operating in Kashmir that there was no threat to the polls except some pockets in south Kashmir being sensitive “that could be taken care of by the security agencies as witnessed in recently held peaceful and successful ULB and Panchayat polls.”

“ECI has decided not to jump gun and instead widen the ambit of consultations before taking a final call,” a top security official disclosed. (With inputs from KNS & KNO)