Citing security reasons, ECI cancels Anantnag by-polls

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Srinagar: The Election Commission of India has cancelled the Anantnag by-polls for parliament seat scheduled for 25th of this month, stating that holding free and fair elections would not be possible in the prevailing situation.

Chief Electoral Officer, J&K, Shantmanu said that the election commission on Monday evening took the decision of cancelling the Anantnag by-polls for parliament seat.

The by-polls were scheduled for April 12 but were postponed after killing of eight civilians in Budgam and Ganderbal districts on polling day on April 9.

The PDP too has appealed the ECI to postpone the by-polls. But opposition parties had termed the PDP’s appeal meaningless.

In its 10-page report, the EC has cited a number of reasons for cancelling the elections. Among other, the EC has mentioned that there has been no noticeable improvement in security situation, the home ministry has consented for only 250 Companies instead of 687 as demanded by the state government for holding polls.

The report also mentions that Holy month of Ramzan, Amarnath Yatra, tourism season will get affected if elections are held as per schedule.

Besides, the report said that holding free and fair elections would not be possible in the prevailing situation.

The report said that the elections will be held when the situation becomes conducive for holding free and fair elections.

With the cancellation of elections, the Model Code of Conduct that was in place from March ended with today’s ECI order.

An official in JK’s electoral office said that with cancellation of by-polls means, the Model Code of Conduct has ended. (KNS)

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