The decision of Election Commission of India (ECI) to cancel the Anantnag by-polls, which were scheduled to be held on May 25, has drawn a sharp reaction with both the NC and Congress slamming the government for the deterioration in the security scenario and influencing the ECI to call off elections to foil the defeat of PDP candidate on the seat.
Congress state president and party candidate on Anantnag parliamentary seat, G A Mir, said that the PDP was sensing defeat on the seat, due to which it influenced the ECI to cancel the polls.
“PDP had read the mood of the people. It got the help from Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to get the elections first deferred and now cancelled.’’
He said that the PDP-BJP government was only to be blamed for the current security scenario, which has deteriorated. “We have always been saying that the conditions are not conducive for elections, but PDP thrust polls on us. But after they lost Srinagar seat, they become nervous about their defeat on the Anantnag parliamentary seat as well.’’
NC provincial spokesperson, Imran Nabi Dar, while commenting on the decision of ECI to cancel the elections, said that the conditions remain the worst. “If the security situation remains grim and the conditions are not conducive for holding of elections, it is a referendum against the government. But Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, is still not willing to give up power.’’
He said that the development was unprecedented as “it is for the first time that elections have been cancelled after they were scheduled to be held in May.’’
Former CM Omar Abdullah also lashed out at Mehbooba Mufti and held her responsible for current situation in Kashmir.
In his reaction to the ECI’s notice for the cancellation of Lok Sabha by-polls in Anantang, Omar said that government was to be only held responsible for the “regression” in Kashmir.
“It’s depressing to see how far we have regressed in Kashmir from the highs of the Assembly polls of 2014 to the cancelled election of 2017,” he tweeted.
Omar accused Mufti of “shamelessly clinging to power” with her “5 percent of the people” despite bringing Kashmir back to the situation of 90s. Omar Abdullah said that current government was only giving excuses after the situation here has taken the turn for the worst.
“In many ways, this is similar to the symbolic victory against India scored by the release of militants for Mehbooba Mufti’s sister in 1990,” Omar said in a tweet, adding that the only thing that was keeping the current government in office was “a misplaced sense of pride in Delhi preventing admission of mistake’’.