Election Commission reviews poll security, no word on J&K election schedule

Ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission on Monday undertook a review meeting with officials of the Union home ministry to assess the security situation in the country, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir, which remains tense after last week’s suicide bombing.

There is no word on whether the commission has decided on a schedule for the assembly election in J&K, which is currently under Governor’s Rule. Earlier, the Centre mooted holding elections to the assembly and the Lok Sabha in the state around the same time. But last Thursday’s attack on a Central Reserve Police Force convoy in Kashmir’s Pulwama, which killed 40 personnel, has cast a shadow over the elections in the state. Political parties in the state are also divided on whether elections should be held for the state assembly simultaneously with the general elections.

According to a person aware of the development, the EC’s review included assessing the preparedness in terms of deployment of central armed police forces, especially in vulnerable areas. “In the run up to the elections, the poll panel undertakes review meeting with all state governments and officials that look after security issues,” the person said.

Monday’s meeting was attended by Union home secretary Rajiv Gauba and two officials from Jammu and Kashmir, including an additional director-general of police.

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