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Home > India > News > Report

J&K may go to polls in October

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar | February 26, 2008 20:48 IST

Elections to the 87-member Jammu and Kashmir [Images] legislative assembly are likely to be held in October this year.

The busy administrative schedule is being cited as the reason for holding of polls in October.

The two-month long annual pilgrimage to the Hindu Cave Shrine of Amarnath is scheduled to be held in the months of June and August this year. The holding of this pilgrimage has always been a challenge for the state government.

The government's man-power and resources are stretched to limits providing security and other facilities to thousands of pilgrims, who come here every year to have a glimpse of Lord Shiva's [Images] ice lingam inside the Himalayan cave in south Kashmir's Anantnag district.

The entire administration remains busy with the Yatra arrangements in both the south and north Kashmir areas.

Elaborate arrangements, including porters, ponies, tents and mobile toilets, have to be made available to pilgrims by the administration and the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, which conducts the Yatra.

After conclusion of the Yatra, which coincides with the Shravan Purnima festival in the month of August, the holy Muslim month of Ramadan falls due in September this year.

"It would not be prudent to hold elections during the month of Ramadan. A majority of the state's population comprises of Muslims, who devote the entire month to prayer and penance," said a senior leader of the ruling Congress-People's Democratic Party alliance.

It must be mentioned that the last assembly elections were held in October 2002 and the new government comprising the present ruling alliance came to power in November 2002.

Beyond October, the conduct of elections will become even more difficult, as winter sets in the Valley by November-end each year.