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KashmirParliamentary by-polls:Political parties hold low key campaigning

Parliamentary by-polls:Political parties hold low key campaigning


Parliamentary by-polls:

Political parties hold low key campaigning

NL Correspondent

SRINAGAR: In view of precarious security situation in , the political parties have been holding low key campaigning at the designated places for the upcoming by-polls of two parliamentary seats in the valley.

So far the political parties have held their meetings at party headquarters and many election rallies have been cancelled due to disturbance in the valley.

The Srinagar constituency, comprising three districts of Ganderbal, Srinagar, and Budgam, is going to polls on April 9. While Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency—spread over four south Kashmir districts of Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian, and Pulwama in south Kashmir— will go to polls on April 12.

The increase in militancy incidents is affecting candidates campaigning as political parties seem reluctant to hold election rallies in central and south Kashmir. Further, sources said the killing of civilians during clashes has further compounded the problem and political parties prefer to hold low key rallies at party headquarters.

A PDP rally was attacked with stones in which three workers got injured. Sources said the security agencies have advised the political parties to hold rallies at “designated places”. “Security forces have drawn a plan to ensure trouble free by-polls of two Lok Sabha constituencies. Designated places have been earmarked for rallies given the precarious security situation,” a senior security official said.

A senior official posted at Divisional Commissioner Kashmir office said the security agencies have asked contesting candidates to follow formulated security guidelines for the upcoming polls.  “The candidates have been advised to inform security forces before holding any election rally in their respective areas. The election rally will only be allowed at secured places,” the official said, adding, “the security forces sansitise roads to election rally venues”.

Chief Electoral Officer, J&K, Shantmanu, said adequate security will be provided to political parties to hold the election campaign for the by-polls.

“All security arrangements are being made for fair and trouble free polls,” Shantmanu said.  All the 3,194 polling stations have also been categorised as “hypersensitive” and “sensitive” in the state.

The opposition leaders have claimed that the security cover of their leaders and members was being withdrawn.

Senior Conference leader and former chief minister Omar Abdullah had said in a press conference that government was “discouraging” them from campaigning.

Omar had asked the Election Commission of (ECI) to ensure peaceful atmosphere and security for candidates as well as campaigners for the upcoming by-polls.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.


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