Poll schedule unfortunate, but we will participate: CPI-M

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Srinagar, Oct 19 (UNI) The Communist Party of India (M) today said the seven-phase schedule announced for Jammu and Kashmir Assembly polls by the Election Commission was a challenge for all political parties.

''We have suggested Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and three-member EC team, headed by N Gopalaswami, during its visit here, that some Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) were necessary before announcing any poll schedule for the state assembly,'' The CPI(M) state secretary Mohammad Yousuf Targami told UNI.

Reacting to EC announcement, Mr Targami said ''we also favoured polls but only after taking CBMs which would have made the election process more credible.'' ''But announcing the poll dates without taking into consideration our suggestion was very unfortunate,'' he said.

He said all the political parties must take it as a challenge besides an opportunity for restoration of democratic process in the state.

Governor's rule can not be a substitute to democracy, he said adding ''we must now participate in the poll process.'' Mr Targami has suggested a number CBMs which include release of all detenues who are not involved in any serious offence.

UNI BAS MYK ARB CS1357

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