CEC postpones by-polls after Mehbooba cites security concerns

Within days of its announcement, the Chief Election Commission (CEC) today postponed the Anantnag by-polls after chief minister Mehbooba Mufti cited law and order problem in the Valley.

Earlier, the Election Commission, State office, had declared Anantnag Assembly seat as vacant with effect from January 7, 2016 and had sent a proposal to the Election Commission of India to hold by-election to the constituency and complete election process before June 15 this year.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shantmanu told the Newspoint that following the meeting between DGP, Chief Secretary and the Governor with Election Commissioner regarding law and order issue, it was decided that the by-polls must be deferred for some time.

“The Election Commission of India spoke to the Jammu and Kashmir Governor-NN Vohra, besides top officials of civil and police administration in Jammu and Kashmir including Chief Secretary BR Sharma, Director General of Police (DGP) K Rajendra before postponing the date of by-election to Anantnag,” he said.

He further said that he had received notice from the Legislative Assembly Secretariat declaring Anantnag Assembly constituency, represented by then Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, as vacant on January 7 with the death of (Sayeed).

“The seat, as per the Constitutional provisions, had to be filled up within six months from the date of its falling vacant i.e. July 7,” he said, adding they have sent the proposal to the Election Commission of India to hold the early by-election to Anantnag Assembly seat in view of Shri Amarnath ji pilgrimage, which will start on July 2 this year,” he said.

The Chief Election Commission, day before yesterday announced by-elections for the Anantnag seat, but today postponed after the government headed by Mehbooba Mufti cited security concerns.

Meanwhile sources said that as per the Legislative Assembly notice, the Anantnag Assembly seat has been treated as vacant from the day the Chief Minister passed away i.e. January 7 and since the seat had to be filled within six months according to the Constitutional provision, the election had to be held before July 7.

Pertinently, Mufti Sayeed was elected as MLA from Anantnag during November-December 2014 Assembly elections held in the State for second consecutive time. He had also won the seat in 2008. In 2002 when Sayeed became the Chief Minister of the State for three years heading coalition Government with the Congress, he had become member of the Upper House as he was not the MLA then.


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