Strange if Panchayat polls announced under pressure from centre: Omar


Srinagar, Feb 5 Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said that it will be strange if Panchayat elections are announced under pressure from the centre in the state when government failed to hold by-poll in Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency.
Taking to micro-blogging site Twitter, the working president of the main opposition National Conference (NC) Abdullah said “If after this Panchayat Elections are still announced it will be because the Central Govt forced the State Govt to announce them. Can’t have a Lok Sabha by-poll & yet want a full Panchayat election. Strange! Omar “. He was reacting to reports that majority of political parties favour deferring panchayat polls in the state.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) coalition government called an All Party Meeting (APM) at Jammu on Sunday to arrive at a consensus over the possible dates for holding Panchayat election, which were due in 2016. However, the elections could not be held due to summer unrest in the valley.
It is reports that during the APM, which was chaired by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, though majority political parties were in favour of holding panchayat polls as the state was suffering loss of crores of rupees in the absence of panchayats, but they questioned the governments silence over bye-poll in Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency, which felt vacant after Mehbooba Mufti resigned to take oath as Chief minister following the demise of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in January 2016. However, by-election in Srinagar constituency was held in April last year when bye-poll in Anantnag was deferred due to law and order situation at the last movement. Srinagar constituency recorded just 7.14 per cent voting and NC president and former CM Dr Farooq Abdullah got elected. The seat had fallen vacant after Abdul Hamid Karra resigned from the seat and PDP after his opposition to form government with BJP was ignored by the party.
The opposition questioned if situation is not conducive for holding bye-polls in Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency, how the government will ensure peaceful Panchayat elections in the state.