EC defers Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh assembly bypolls

New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) The Election Commission on Thursday postponed by-polls to the Anantnag assembly seat in Jammu and Kashmir after the Mehbooba Mufti government raised concerns over the law and order situation.

The poll panel also announced deferment of by-polls in Ghoradongari(ST) assembly constituency in Madhya Pradesh following similar request from the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government.

Announcing postponement of the polls as announced on Tuesday, the EC said in a statement that new date would be announced later.

“The chief secretary, Jammu & Kashmir has apprised the commission that the law and order situation of Anantnag district due to recent incidents is not conducive at the moment for the holding by-election. He has, therefore, requested the commission to postpone the bye-election,” the commisison said.

The Anantnag seat had fallen vacant after death of sitting member, chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed.

On the Madhya Pradesh seat, it said: “It has been brought to the commission’s notice by Madhya Pradesh government that Simhastha Mahakumbh is due to begin on April 22, 2016 and would continue for one month up to May 21. During this Mahakumbh, over 5 crore pilgrims are expected to visit Ujjain and other holy places in the state, for which huge secureity and logistical arrangements have been undertaken.

“Therefore, the entire state administration, including police forces, would be focusing on the smooth conduct of Simhastha Mahakumbh, particularly on logistical and security issues, during the Simhastha period. In view of the above situation, the commission has decided to postpone both the said by-elections.”

The EC announced that by-polls to the Tura parliamentary constituency in Meghalaya, necessitated by death of sitting member and former Lok Sabha speaker P.A. Sangma, and nine assembly constituencies in seven states would be held May 16.

The other assembly constituencies are Kanubari (Arunachal Pradesh), Godda and Panki (Jharkhand), Talala (Gujarat), Jangipur and Bilari (Uttar Pradesh), and Palair (Telengana).

–IANS

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