Farooq Abdullah says IAF air strike carried with Lok Sabha elections in mind, questions EC delay in conducting Jammu and Kashmir Assembly polls

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Published: March 11, 2019 1:42:35 PM

Farooq Abdullah said that IAF's air strike in Balakot of Pakistan was carried out in view of the Lok Sabha elections.

Farooq Abdullah, Jammu and Kashmir Assembly polls, election in J&KFarooq Abdullah says that IAF operation in Pakistan was carried in view of the polls to benefit BJP

National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah has questioned the Modi government on why the environment is not conducive for holding Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir. Speaking to news agency ANI, Abdullah said that when local body polls can be held peacefully and the government can ensure peaceful conduct of parliamentary polls, why can’t it hold assembly polls in the border state?

Abdullah noted that all the political parties in the state are in favour of holding Assembly and Lok Sabha elections simultaneously and that the same was conveyed to the Election Commission when its representative met the leaders a few days ago.

The remark comes a day after Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora announced that parliamentary elections in the state will be held in five phases and that no decision was taken with regard to the holding of Assembly elections. Jammu and Kashmir was placed under President’s Rule in December last year after expiry of six months of Governor’s rule. The Governor’s rule was imposed after the BJP support to an alliance government headed by PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti.

“All parties are in favour of holding simultaneous (Lok Sabha and state assembly) polls. Environment is conducive for Lok Sabha polls but not state polls in Jammu and Kashmir? Local body polls were held peacefully, there are enough forces present, then why can’t state elections be held?” he asked.

Arora on Sunday said that security of candidates was the prime concern for the poll body and that the recent developments including the terror attack in Pulwama were a major concern. He said that the poll body needs a sizeable number of security personnel for the protection of every candidate contesting Assembly elections.

“This was also a demand put forth by representatives of political parties we met during our visit there. Availability of security forces is a constraint,” he said, adding that in the Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency alone, the EC has decided to have voting in three different phases.

On IAF’s air strike in Balakot of Pakistan, the NC leader said that the operation was carried out in view of the elections. “We always knew that there would be a fight or a skirmish with Pakistan. This surgical strike (airstrike) was done as elections are approaching. We lost an aircraft worth crores. Be thankful that the pilot (IAF) survived & returned from Pakistan with respect,” he said.

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