Monday, October 20, 2008

Separitist may create violence during 7 phase Assembly Election in J&K

Suspense over the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections ended on Sunday, with the Election Commission (EC) declaring the polling on seven different dates from November 17 to December 24 and slating counting in all 87 constituencies together on December 28.A notification for the first phase of polls in 10 constituencies will be issued on October 24, setting in motion the two-and-a-half month long election process that ends with constitution of the new House by December 31. Polling will take place on November 17, 23 and 30 and December 7, 13, 17 and 24. Altogether 65,38,111 voters are on the electoral rolls to exercise their franchise at 8109 polling booths.Mum on PoK seats: The J&K Assembly consists of 111 constituencies, 25 of which are in the Pak-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and hence the Election Commission always stated that these seats were being kept vacant. But missing is that technicality in its press note this time.The National Conference, the main Opposition party, coming on board early this week for the polls weighed on the Election Commission not to put off the elections to March-April as initially planned. Boycott call: Both the factions of the Hurriyat Conference and other separatist outfits were quick to announce “boycott” of the elections. Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami said the Commission was prepared for any such eventuality by already drawing up a contingency plan to draw the government employees from other states for poll duties.The Commission never stops anybody giving the poll boycott call, Gopalaswami told a press conference here, flanked by Election Commissioners Navin Chawla and S Y Qureshi. “We depend on political parties to mobilise voters and ensure elections go on. I don’t think anybody can enforce a boycott. They can call a boycott, but not enforce it,” he said. He also announced that model code of conduct for political parties and government comes into effect immediately with the announcement of the elections.Srinagar last: Most sensitive eight constituencies of Srinagar district where the “boycott” call may have the impact go to polls in the last phase on December 24, along-with 11 constituencies of Jammu district and two of Samba district.Districts that go to polls in the first phase on November 17 are Bandipora, Ladakh, Kagril and Poonch, followed by Ganderbal and Rajuri districts on November 23, Kupwara district on November 30, Baramulla, Budgam, Reasi and Udhampur districts on December 7, Pulwama, Shopian and Kathua districts on December 13 and Kulgam, Anantnag, Kishtwar, Doda and Ramban districts on December 17

This article is a part of author's D-day reporting from NewDelhi, for the complete posting click
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