JK polsl to be held by taking "calculated risk":CEC

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Hyderabad, Oct 20 (UNI) Denying any differences with the two Election Commissioners on Jammu and Kashmir polls, Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami today said announcing the polls for winter and staggering them over seven phases was a ''calculated risk'' Talking to newspersons here, the CEC, who was here to deliver the 23rd Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Memorial Lecture at the National Police Academy, said, ''I do not have any differences with the other Election Commissioners. Each one had a set of concerns on various aspects.'' There was an outer-limit of six months for holding elections after dissolution of the State Assembly, he pointed out, adding that unless there was an extreme valid reason, the polls could not be postponed.

Another ''calculated risk'' taken by the EC was to stagger the polls over seven phases instead of four , he said, adding that this required maintaining the ''voters enthusiasm'' over a long period of time.

Asked about the call given by extremist organisations for polls boycott, he said it was for the political parties to mobilise the voters to exercise their franchise.

In Leh and Kargil, where cold would be severe, the polls would be held in the first phase itself, he said, adding that in the past too, the elections had been conducted in winter twice.

The elections were scheduled in such a way that security personnel could be redeployed in those areas where their presence was required in full strength, he added.

Elections to the 87-member Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir will be held in seven phases, starting from November 17 to December 24.


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