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J-K: EC cancels Anantnag Lok Sabha bypoll

News Agencies | Updated on: 2 May 2017, 9:06 IST

The Election Commission has cancelled the Anantnag Lok Sabha bypoll, saying the ground situation is not conducive to hold free and fair elections.

The bypoll, earlier slated to be held on April 12, was postponed for May 25 due to poor law and order situation.

The Commission, which issued the order late last night, said non-availability of sufficient number of security personnel was another reason to cancel the poll process.

The 10-page order said a fresh date would be announced later.

The home ministry on 1 May turned down a request by EC for additional security forces for bypoll in militancy-hit Anantnag saying it could only spare 30,000 personnel.

A home ministry official said the EC has been told that around 300 companies of paramilitary personnel could be arranged for deployment during the Anantnag bypoll. A company of paramilitary comprises around 100 personnel.

Last week, the EC had asked the home ministry that 740 companies of paramilitary forces be put at its disposal by May 12 so that proper deployment of forces could be undertaken.

The demand seemed unprecedented as the poll body had sought 70,000 paramilitary forces for deployment in the recently-concluded assembly elections in five states, including Uttar Pradesh, which has 403 assembly constituencies and 80 Lok Sabha seats.

There are around 10 lakh paramilitary personnel under the home ministry's command, but it is difficult to assemble them from different parts of the country on such a short notice, the official said.

The PDP, the ruling coalition partner in Jammu and Kashmir, has urged the EC to defer indefinitely the bypoll to the Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency in the wake of the "volatile situation" prevailing there.

- - PTI

First published: 2 May 2017, 8:25 IST