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Time not right for polls in J-K: Omar
CM meets Home Minister, seeks special package for flood-affected Valley
Tribune News Service & PTI

New Delhi/Srinagar, October 14
Amid reports that the Election Commission (EC) may hold the Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir on time despite the widespread damage to life and property caused by the recent floods, state Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said the situation was not conducive for polling and warned that there would be “zero percent turnout” in the capital, Srinagar.

“Look, my party (National Conference) has made it clear that this is not the opportune time to hold the elections. We believe that at this point of time people are struggling to rebuild their life,” he told reporters here after meeting Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

Omar, however, made it clear that the EC had to take a final call on the issue. The six-year term of the 87-member Assembly ends on January 19, 2015. During his meeting with Rajnath, Omar sought a special assistance package for the flood-ravaged Kashmir region and the border-belt of Jammu region, which has been pounded by Pakistani troops in recent days.

Omar focused on “rehabilitating flood-affected families” of the Kashmir region and providing “necessary succour” to the civilian population living near the border and the LoC.

“He highlighted the need for granting a special package to J&K to rebuild the state after the unprecedented floods,” a state government spokesman said. The devastating deluge last month destroyed hundreds of homes and displaced thousands of people across the Valley. It crippled the local economy with the state government putting a preliminary estimate of loss at Rs 1,00,000 crore.

“Restoring the shattered economy and reconstructing the damaged public infrastructure were also discussed during the meeting,” the spokesman said.

According to official figures, 15 lakh families spread over 5,794 villages have been affected by the flood and 3.4 lakh structures have suffered damages.

The Chief Minister also talked about a memorandum submitted by the state government, requesting the Centre to declare tax holiday for the state for 10 years to help revive the state’s economy.

EC to visit Srinagar on October 18

  • The EC will visit Srinagar on Saturday to assess the situation amidst an overwhelming demand for holding Assembly elections in J&K on schedule
  • The visit of the Commission — Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath and ECs HS Brahma and Nasim Zaidi — comes close on the heels of DEC Vinod Zutshi’s trip
  • Sources say the EC will meet leaders of mainstream political parties to seek their views





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