Jammu & Kashmir

LS polls: ECI reschedules polling date for Anantnag-Rajouri seat; PDP protests

PDP rally in Thanamandi, Rajouri during election campaign. [Photo: X/ Mehbooba Mufti]

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has announced a change in the voting date for the Anantnag-Rajouri Parliamentary Constituency (PC) in Jammu and Kashmir, rescheduling it from May 7 to May 25.

This decision was made in response to requests from various political parties, including the J&K Apni Party, the People’s Conference, the Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP), and the BJP, urging a change in the polling date. However, PDP has protested against the decision.

In a statement, the Election Commission of India noted that it had received representations from different political parties in the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir, highlighting logistical, communication, and weather barriers that were impeding campaign activities.

These challenges were seen as creating obstacles and potentially limiting fair opportunities for contesting candidates in the Anantnag-Rajouri Parliamentary Constituency. The election body acknowledged that such circumstances could impact the poll process adversely.

Meanwhile, PDP workers, led by senior party leader Naeem Akhtar, protested against the Election Commission of India’s decision. They demanded the public release of the Jammu and Kashmir administration’s report that led to the postponement.

The Election Commission postponed the polls on Tuesday, citing logistical challenges due to adverse weather conditions. Former chief ministers Omar Abdullah (National Conference) and Mehbooba Mufti (PDP) had previously urged the Election Commission not to postpone the polls.

Dozens of PDP workers gathered at the party headquarters on Residency Road, raising slogans against the BJP and the Election Commission for deferring the polls. Police prevented them from marching onto the road.

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