‘Uncertainty’ may force EC to postpone by-polls in Anantnag

Srinagar: The Election Commission may postpone the by-elections for Anantnag Lok Sabha seat as one-off case in view of the ground realities of the place, where semblance of normalcy just returned but future still remains uncertain, a Jammu daily reported on Tuesday.
The EC has to hold by-election by December 20, and the entire electioneering process has to be completed by January 4, 2017 as per the constitutional requirement, the report added.
The EC can defer the polls as one-off case as there is provision for it, the daily quoted a source.
“The EC has to hold elections with all logistical support and the proper ground reality. The Home Ministry and the state government have to provide the logistical support. So their view and consideration is important. The EC then has to hold consultations with the central government in special cases for the feasibility of the elections. Going by the situation, the state government had already made it clear that it wants deferment and the Home Ministry also holds the same view. So the elections may be postponed,” a senior government official was quoted by the daily to have said.
The sources told the daily that Home Ministry also holds the view that the ground is not ripe for the political activity and will go by the report of the state government on this regard.
“The Home Ministry believes that the semblance of normalcy has just returned and people are turning against the separatists, but tempers are still high over the death of about 100 youth. Holding elections in just one-month period will give a handle to the separatist to make people rally against the Indian election system. And, it could have repercussion in the future. So we want the tempers to cool down, let the people have a breathing time for some months and also introspect and then hold elections which will give the real picture of the ground situation, We believe the EC also concurs with us so the elections are likely to be delayed,” a senior official in the Home Ministry was quoted by the daily to have said.
Former Chief Minister and National Conference working president Omar Abdullah is, however, pushing for the elections as per the constitutional requirement, the report said.
“Omar is seeing a political opportunity for him, though he is skipping the development of PDP holding a rally and starting at the gross root level. And, it may cost him dearly as tweeting and being on the ground is different ball game,” the official was quoted to have said by the daily.

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