KD NEWS SERVICE
NEW DELHI, Mar 13: Amid criticism over the decision not to conduct assembly and Lok Sabha polls simultaneously in Jammu and Kashmir, Election Commission of India (ECI) on Tuesday held a meeting to take into account the affairs of the State.
The Commission met its special observers for the State, AS Gill, Noor Mohammad and Vinod Zutshi, and discussed the situation before the upcoming Lok Sabha polls and the modalities for the assembly elections, official sources said. Meanwhile, the Election Commission appointed observes for J&K are arriving in Srinagar on Thursday for a series of meetings with different stakeholders including various political parties, administration and law enforcing agencies.
The team comprises of former Deputy Election Commissioner of India Vinod Zutshi, former IAS officer Noor Mohaammd and A.S Gill
According to a local news gathering agency RNA, former Deputy Election commissioner and one of the observers Vinod Zutshi said that their engagements would be finalized by the Chief Election Officer Jammu and Kashmir. He however, stressed that the team has not received a tour diary as yet and was likely to receive it shortly.
When asked is there any possibility of ECI revisiting its decision of conducting assembly polls in J&K, . Vinod Zutshi told RNA that, he was not mandated to speak on behalf of ECI. He also said that their engagements with stakeholders would be finalized by locals CEO and they will not be briefing about their engagements to anyone including media.
“We too have to follow a sort of code of conduct. What we will do in J&K would be submitted to ECI and we would be reporting directly to ECI only.” . Zutshi told RNA. The observer said that they had a meeting with Election Commissioner of India and others during which they were briefed about their mandate and they will be acting according to that only.
Earlier the Election commissioner of India had announced the special observer’s team on Sunday. The observers- according to media reports – have been told to visit the state ‘at an earliest’ to make an independent assessment of the situation and report back to EC.