J&K: Political parties pitch for simultaneous polls

NEW DELHI: Almost all the political parties in Jammu and Kashmir have strongly pitched for holding Assembly polls with the Lok Sabha elections simultaneous in the restive state.

Shailendra Kumar, Chief Electoral Officer J&K on Friday interacted with the representatives of political parties and almost said all the parties are in favour of holding simultaneous polls.

“Almost all the political leaders were unanimous in holding simultaneous polls and expressed their readiness for the same. They suggested several measures to improve the electoral process to ensure smooth and transparent elections in the state,” said an official spokesman after the meeting.

National Conference also pushed for holding the two polls together. “We want both polls should be held simultaneously,” said Imran Nabi Dar, National Conference spokesman.

Shunning the baggage of boycott politics, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) too pitched for holding simultaneous polls. “Let the Election Commission take the call,” said Syed Suhail Bukhari, Media Advisor to PDP president and former CM Mehbooba Mufti, reported DNA.

With the country already in election mode, the formal schedule for the coming Lok Sabha polls is expected to be announced by the Election Commission in the first week of March and the process is likely to over seven to nine phases.

Assembly elections are also expected in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh along with the Lok Sabha polls. Jammu and Kashmir could also be added to the list as Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said in Parliament that government had no objection if the Election Commission wanted to go ahead with such a proposal.