SRINAGAR Amid criticism over the decision not to conduct assembly and Lok Sabha polls simultaneously in J&K, Election Commission of India on Tuesday held a meeting with three special observers 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.
Sunil Arora, Chief Election Commissioner welcomed the Special Central Observers and thanked them for having accepted this onerous and delicate assignment, which entails assessing the situation of J&K on real time basis.
The Commission will be regularly and on real time basis monitoring the situation in J & K and will also be taking inputs from all necessary quarters and decision regarding holding Legislative Assembly elections in J & K will be taken soon.
During the meeting it was requested to the Special Observers that they may visit the State at the earliest, a suggestion which was accepted by them, an official statement issued here said.
Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra, Election Commissioners, also briefed them during the interactive session which lasted for almost 2 hours.
DEC-in-charge of the State Sandeep Saxena briefed them about preparedness of election in J&K and gave other details regarding the State. The Commission discussed with them about their roles and responsibilities. The three Central Observers would be required to visit the State and make a real time assessment of the situation by meeting Political Parties, district and state authorities and other stake holders.
A S Gill has wide experience in field of security management in difficult areas. He was IG CRPF in J &K between 1995-97 and subsequently superannuated as DG CRPF. Dr. Noor Mohammad, a former Secretary to Government of India has worked more than a decade in the fields of election management as Chief Electoral Officer of Uttar Pradesh, Deputy Election Commissioner in ECI, international expert and consultant on election in Afghanistan for many years. Vinod Zutshi, former Secretary in the Central Government also has wide experience for more than a decade in elections at the state level as CEO, Rajasthan and at the ECI level as Deputy Election Commissioner for more than five years.