Assembly elections would be free and fair in JK: Azad

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Srinagar, May 5 (UNI) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today asserted the ensuing elections to the state assembly would be ''most free and fair'' and nobody should have any apprehension on this count.

The elections would be the ''freest and fairest of all, not only throughout the country but across the world, Mr Azad said.

Those who talked about possible rigging in the elections were actually trying to escape from their ''imminent bad performance'' at the hustings, Mr Azad said after re-opening of the civil secretariat here following the biannual move of offices.

He said there was no question of rigging in the elections and that he was committed to free and fair polls in the state.

Mr Azad recalled the Assembly byelections to the state and said as Chief Minister ''I had warned government officials of dismissal from their service'' if found involved in any electoral malpractice.

He said he was still firm on the warning and assured all political parties that elections would be held in the most democratic manner.

The Chief Minister asked political parties to fight elections on the strength of their policies and performance and cautioned against using any force or indulging in personal attacks.

He said they (political parties) should leave to the electorate the choice for electing candidates and the parties in the fray.

UNI BAS HS AS1541

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