BJP welcomes J

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New Delhi, Oct 19 (UNI) Welcoming the election schedule announced by the Election Commission today, the BJP exuded confidence that the polls in the trouble-torn state would be free and fair.

In a statement, BJP Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said it would have been better if date for the J&K polls were announced along with the poll schedule for the five states.

The EC has announced a seven-phase elections in the state to be held between November 17 and December 24.

Mr Naqvi commended the EC for taking a decision to hold election in the state, protecting the rights of the citizen to exercise their franchise.

Describing the 2002 polls in the state as 'historic' which was even termed as quite fair by the international observers, the BJP leader said the high turn out in the polls had sent a clear message to the separatists that they could not hold the state to ransom.

Election in Jammu and Kashmir was always between the nationalist forces and separatists, he said.

''The BJP is confident that in this election also the nationalist forces will defeat the separatists,'' he said.

UNI KAS/MCN ARB CS1410

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