EC observers hold interactions with representatives of political parties in Srinagar


SRINAGAR, Mar 14: The three special observers, who were appointed by the Election Commission to suggest when assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir can be held, interacted with representatives of various political parties here on Thursday.
The three observers -- Noor Mohammed, Vinod Zutshi and A S Gill -- Thursday reached Srinagar for a two-day visit to assess the situation in Jammu and Kashmir on real time basis to enable the poll panel take a call on holding assembly elections in the state, officials said.
They also met the officials of the state government to get a briefing on the security situation for holding elections in the state.
The team will hold similar interactions with representatives of political parties and officials in Jammu on Friday, the officials said.
While announcing the schedule for the Lok Sabha elections on Sunday, the poll panel had said that assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir cannot be held simultaneously due to security concerns flagged by the Centre.
Representatives of the PDP, Congress, BJP and other parties met the observers, while the National Conference (NC), CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, Peoples Democratic Front (PDF) chairman Hakeem Mohamad Yaseen and Democratic Party Nationalist (DPN) president Ghulam Hassan Mir boycotted the meeting.
The NC decided not to meet the EC observers, saying the party has nothing more to add to its demand of having simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly polls in the state.
"We have already put forth our position about holding the assembly polls in the state before the full Election Commission last week. There is nothing new to say about the issue," Tarigami, Yaseen and Mir said in a joint statement issued here.
Jammu and Kashmir is under the President's Rule since 19 December 2018.
The PDP-BJP government in the state fell on 19 June 2018 after the national party pulled out of the coalition.
Since the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly has been dissolved, the Election Commission is bound to hold fresh polls there as well within a six-month period, which will end in May.
Almost all political parties in Kashmir have advocated holding the state assembly polls simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls.

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