Government ready to hold elections in Kashmir in November: Home Secretary

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New Delhi, Oct.10 : Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta has told the three-member Election Commission that the Central Government is ready to hold Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir next month in three to four phases.

Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami made an assessment of the situation for holding polls in the sensitive state when Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta met the full Election Commission.

During the meeting, the availability of central forces was discussed in detail considering the militancy situation in the state.

Gupta is understood to have conveyed that the state had enough forces sent there during the Amarnath pilgrimage and to deal with the violence following the controversial land transfer.

The polling is likely to be staggered in three to four phases to facilitate smooth movement of security personnel for holding peaceful polling.

The meeting assumed significance as the Commission returned from the state after a two-day visit on October 7 and 8 when it met various political parties and senior civil and police officials of the state government to review the poll preparations.

During the discussions, the EC had with political parties in Srinagar, Kashmir-based parties said they would abide by the decision of the Commission though they claimed that the current atmosphere was not conducive for the elections.

The BJP and the Left, however, wanted immediate elections while Congress left it to EC to take a call.

The term of the assembly, which was dissolved following the breakup of the Congress-PDP coalition in the wake of the Amarnath land transfer row, ends on November 20.

But since the state was placed under Governor's rule, the elections have to be held before January 10.

ANI

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