Srinagar, April 12 (KNS): Days after Election Commission of India deferred the by-polls for Anantnag parliament seat following killings of eight civilians in Budgam and Ganderbal on polling day on April 9, the government Wednesday said that instead of May 25 the by-polls can be held in November if ECI “feels it feasible”.
PDP leader and Minister for Rural Development and Law, Abdul Haq Khan told KNS: “If Election Commission of India feels it feasible to hold by-polls in November, in my opinion, that would be better as tourism season is beginning and development activities are being started and prioritized.”
The by-polls for Anantnag parliament seat which were to be conducted today were deferred after the PDP candidate Tasaduq Mufti appealed the ECI to postpone the elections following killings of eight civilian youths in Budgam and Ganderbal on polling day on April 9 and the subsequent low turnout.
The PDP’s appeal prompted the opposition National Conference and Congress to accuse the ruling party of conceding defeat even before the results were announced.
“ECI is an independent body which does not consult the centre or state governments on holding polls in any part of the country. It has its own standards and measures to hold elections. Having said that, the state government had conveyed the ECI that atmosphere was not conducive for holding by-polls,” Khan told KNS.
“It is foolish on the part of NC and Congress to say that PDP conceded defeat and deferred the by-polls. Tasaduq Sahab appealed the ECI considering and feeling the loss of eight human lives. No loss is bigger than human loss and it is our priority to save human lives in the state,” he said.
Khan, who is also Panchayati Raj minister, said that the government has “not thought about” conducting elections for panchayati raj system in 2017.
On the dismissal of a PIL on Article 370 by Delhi High Court, Khan said that PDP is “very serious” in safeguarding the special status of the state.
“We have appointed senior advocates who contest our cases in any court. Some people are blaming us that we are eroding Article 370, but yesterday’s decision is an answer to them,” he said.
He said that after alliance with BJP, the party has not raised abrogation of Article 370 at any level. “It is our success that erosion of Article 370 is not an agenda of BJP now. PDP will defend the Article 370 unlike NC and Congress which eroded it from the past decades,” he said.
On the non-implementation of Agenda of Alliance between the coalition partners, Khan said that PDP will show to people at the end of the six years government that it implemented the agenda.
“Whatever PDP says, it does that. And after six years of our government, our actions will speak,” he said.
On NC president Dr Farooq Abdullah’s calling stone pelters fighting for the nation, Khan said that NC leadership changes their statements like the weather of Kashmir.
“Farooq Abdullah sahab changes his statement like the weather of Kashmir. He makes statements as per his need. People in the state can never trust the NC leadership as they were never serious, be in the government or in opposition,” he said. (KNS)