No mention of J&K polls in HM’s speech: Farooq

NEW DELHI, Dec 7: National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah today wondered why Home Minister Amit Shah did not mention about holding elections in Jammu and Kashmir during his speech in Lok Sabha.
Shah had made an elaborate statement in the House on Wednesday on various aspects related to Jammu and Kashmir as two bills related to the Union Territory came up for consideration and passage.
Responding to a question, Abdullah told reporters that Shah did not speak about the elections in Jammu and Kashmir in his speech. “Which means something is wrong.”
In a written reply in Rajya Sabha today, Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal listed out the Constitutional and legal provisions under which the Election Commission holds polls.
He was asked “whether Government is planning to conduct assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir”.
Citing information shared by the EC, he said it is the constitutional mandate of the poll panel to hold elections to constitute the new Lok Sabha and new Legislative Assemblies in the states within a period of six months before the expiry of the present term or within six months of the premature dissolution of the House or the Assembly.
“Further, the Commission considers all relevant aspects such as law and order situation in the State, school/college examinations, festivals, weather conditions, holidays … And availability of Central Armed Police Forces as well as availability of Electronic Voting Machine/Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail and conducive atmosphere to conduct election before finalising the dates of poll and counting while announcing any election. (PTI)