EC to hold by-election to Anantnag before June 15

The Election Commission, State office, has declared Anantnag Assembly seat as vacant with effect from January 7, 2016 and 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  that he has 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,” the CEO said.
The proposal sent by the CEO J&K has called for holding election and completing entire electoral process for prestigious Anantnag seat before June 15 so that the election dates didn’t clash with Amarnath ji yatra.
It may be mentioned here that Pahalgam town in Anantnag district serves as base camp for Amarnath pilgrimage, which will start on July 2 and conclude on Raksha Bandhan.
“The Election Commission of India will now speak to top officials of civil and police administration in Jammu and Kashmir including Chief Secretary BR Sharma, Director General of Police (DGP) K Rajendra and CEO Shantmanu before taking a decision on the date for by-election to Anantnag,” official sources said.
They added 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.
There are 87 Assembly seats in Jammu and Kashmir. With Anantnag seat falling vacant, the number of MLAs has been reduced to 86. Of them, PDP tally has come down from 28 to 27. BJP has 25 and its allies three (People’s Conference of Sajjad Lone and Independent MLA from Udhampur Pawan Gupta) totaling 28. NC has 15, Congress 12 and CPM one. Other Independents included Hakim Mohammad Yasin (Khansaheb), Engineer Rashid (Langate) and Bakir Hussain Rizvi (Zanskar).
According to reliable sources, if PDP president Mehbooba Mufti becomes the Chief Minister, Anantnag-Pulwama Lok Sabha constituency, which she represents, will also fall vacant as she had to become a member of either House of the State Legislature (Legislative Assem-bly and Council).
“If such a situation arises in between February to April, the Election Commission then can consider holding of elections to Anantnag Lok Sabha and Assembly seats simultaneously,” sources said but added that at present the Election Commission has declared only Anantnag Assembly constituency as vacant.
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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