Notification issued for elections to 8 LC seat
BJP,suspended lot open to back ’acceptable candidates’
Jammu, Feb 11: The Secretary Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly issued notification for election to 8 seats of J&K Legislative Council, here on Monday.
As per the notification the forms of nomination paper shall be obtained from the offices of Returning officer/Assistant Returning officer(Secretary J&K Legislative Assembly, Deputy Secretary J&K Legislative Assembly) from February 11-2013 to February 18 -2013.
Scrutiny of nomination papers shall be held on February 19 while as February 21 is the last date for withdrawal of nomination papers.
“Elections, if necessary, will be held on March 7 between 10 am and 2 pm”, the notification reads.
Meanwhile, with the law for open ballot being put in place for elections, following cross voting episode last year, the parties and groups holding the key have been keeping all options open including the backing of an “acceptable candidate be it from the ruling NC-Congress coalition or from the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP)”.
Although, no final decision has yet been taken as to which way they will swing during upcoming elections to the eight seats of the Legislative Council, but sources within the suspended seven member lot of the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) and the 4 member BJP informed that among other limited options left due to open ballot, the possibility of their support to an acceptable candidate either from the ruling coalition or from the PDP is more.
They said, “In view of the open ballot, we are left with only two options either to vote or to abstain as the possibility of cross voting has almost diminished particularly in view of the Assembly and Parliamentary elections next year”.
Former union minister and former leader of the BJP Legislative Party, Prof Chaman Lal Gupta said that their group of seven legislators, who have been suspended by the BJP following cross voting episode last year, are free to vote anywhere.
“The BJP doesn’t own us so we are free to vote anywhere”, he said adding that it is a possibility that if there is a deserving candidate from any side they may support him. He however, added, “We have not yet decided our future course of action but we will meet soon and after taking into account all aspects take a final call”.
Sources within the BJP, while maintaining that chances of abstaining from the Legislative Council polls are quite bleak, said that the party may consider supporting a Jammu based candidate from either side.
“The candidate should not only be a consensus candidate but he should be an acceptable one in that case we may consider supporting him”, they asserted adding that no final decision has so far been taken in this regard. They also said, “It will also depend upon the situation at that time and being a national party the final decision will be taken by core group”.
It may be mentioned that as per the permutations and combinations given the Electoral College of 89 members, the ruling coalition is all set to clinch three seats each from Jammu and Kashmir regions. These include the one reserved seat of Doda.
The PDP, given its number of 21 members, is almost certain to clinch one seat from Kashmir. While at Jammu, if BJP decides to abstain, PDP is likely to tie one seat with the coalition. As there will be four candidates in fray and with BJP abstaining, the Electoral College reduces to 85 in which case each candidate will require at least 22 votes to win. Therefore, both BJP and its suspended lot hold they key.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 11 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 11 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 12 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST
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