Lok Sabha Election: ECI reschedules polling on Anantnag-Rajouri seat to May 25

SRINAGAR (KIMS) — The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Tuesday rescheduled polling in Anantnag-Rajouri constituency in Jammu and Kashmir from third phase on May 7 to sixth phase on May 25.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) stated that the decision was taken after representations received from different political parties from J&K for shifting the polling date in Anantnag-Rajouri Parliamentary Constituency.

“Due to various logistic, communication and the natural barrier of connectivity turning out as hindrance in campaigning which in turn tantamount to lack of fair opportunities for the contesting candidates in the said parliamentary constituency which may affect poll process,” the Election Commission of India (ECI) said in a notification.

“The Commission, after considering report from the UT administration, as well as analysing the ground situation prevailing in the said constituency, has decided under Section 56 of Representation of People Act, 1951, to revise the date of poll in the said Parliamentary Constituency,” reads the notification.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party, Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference and Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) had petitioned the Election Commission to postpone the polling. They had pointed out that Mughal Road, the only road link between the constituency’s two parts — South Kashmir in the Valley and Pir Panjal in Jammu — was closed for traffic for several days due to incessant rain.

The former chief ministers of erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti had urged the Election Commission last week not to postpone the polls.

“I appeal to the EC that such a step should not be taken.The demand for postponement is not from all parties. The weird thing is that some of the people who have written to the EC are not contesting. If I write to the EC about constituencies in Tamil Nadu etc. will they take notice?,” Abdullah said.

Mehbooba Mufti, who is contesting election from Anantnag-Rajouri seat against National Conference candidate Mian Altaf, said, “They all have ganged up against me because they do not want to see me in Parliament. The people, cutting across religious and party lines, are coming forward in my support and they are, therefore, using the Election Commission to defer and rig the elections.”

The ongoing Lok Sabha election is the first major poll in Jammu and Kashmir since the revocation of Article 370 in August 2019.

The Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha constituency came into being after the delimitation exercise was completed in 2022, by adding the Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu division to the earlier Anantnag constituency, which comprised four districts of South Kashmir. — (KIMS)