Anantnag poll likely to be postponed again

SRINAGAR: The June 19 by-election to the Anantnag Assembly seat, where Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is contesting, is likely to be postponed by a few days as the Jammu and Kashmir government apprehends law and order situation in view of the death anniversary of a religious preacher falling on that day. 

In a communication, state Chief Secretary B R Sharma has told the Election Commission that the administration apprehends law and order problems on June 19 when the death anniversary of Qazi Nisar, a religious figure in South Kashmir, will be observed. 

Nisar, who was the founding member of the Muslim United Front (MUF) in late 1980's was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in nearby Dialgam village on June 19, 1994. 

MUF was an amalgam of various parties including Jamaat-e -Islamia formed to counter National Conference-Congress alliance in 1987 elections. 

The Anantnag town observes a complete shut down in memory of Nisar. 

The letter from the state government said that the town generally observes a strike and it may be a law and order situation if elections were held on that day, the sources said. 

June 22 had been given as a choice for holding the by- election. 

The state government had earlier also sought postponement of elections in this assembly seat on May 16 by flagging law and order situation. 

The seat had fallen vacant after the demise of former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed on January 7 this year. His daughter and present incumbent Mehbooba Mufti has filed nomination from this seat. 

Besides her, eight others including an independent MLA from Langate Sheikh Abdul Rashid have filed their nomination papers for the by-election to this seat. 

Opposition National Conference (NC) candidate Iftikhar Hussain Misgar and Rashid filed their nomination papers yesterday. Congress has fielded Hilal Ahmad Shah.

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