ECI Observers hold meetings

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Mar 14 : Major political parties today boycotted meeting with the Special Observers appointed by the Election Commission of India, who arrived in Srinagar. However, a delegation of the PDP met them here at a local hotel.
The three Special Observers appointed by the Election Commission of India arrived in Srinagar today to hold deliberations with political parties, administration and the security agencies in Kashmir and Jammu regions ahead of polls.
On March 10, the ECI had appointed former IAS officers Vinod Zutshi and Noor Muhammad and former IPS officer, A S Gill, as Special Observers for Jammu and Kashmir.
As per their mandate, the observers would make a real-time assessment of the situation by meeting political parties, district and state authorities and other stakeholders. The observers met the top security brass and get the feedback on the present prevailing situation.
Hundred companies of additional forces including CRPF and BSF have already reached Srinagar for being deployed for the election duties.
The PDP delegation led by Mohammad Ashraf Mir met the Observers and stressed the Assembly elections should be held soon as the people in the State want end to Central rule in Kashmir. They told the Observers that the Governor administration is taking some unpopular decisions and there is urgent need for the popular government in office. They also said that the administration under Central rule has failed to come up to the expectations of the people and there is urgent need that the polls be held so that the popular Government in the State is in place as soon as possible.
The National Conference didn’t meet the observers and a spokesman of the party said: “NC has already made its position clear on LS and LA elections in the State. Our demand of having simultaneous Assembly and LS elections in the State in our earlier meetings with the ECI team remains as it is.”
CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, Peoples Democratic Front (PDF) Chairman Hakeem Mohamad Yaseen and Democratic Party Nationalist (DPN) President Ghulam Hassan Mir said that the three parties didn’t meet the Special Observers of Election Commission of India, who had come here to assess the election readiness in Jammu and Kashmir. “We have already put forth our position about holding the Assembly polls in the State before the full Election Commission last week. There is nothing new to say about the issue”, they said.
“Jammu and Kashmir is without an elected Government for the past nine months and in the absence of an elected Government, uncertainty in the State is deepening day-by-day and dissatisfaction among a large section of people in increasing. We reiterate our consistent demand that only effective response to this situation would have been to hold elections to Assembly and Lok Sabha simultaneously”, they said.
They said that without any further delay, the Election Commission should announce the holding of Assembly polls with the Lok Sabha polls.