Omar Abdullah Criticizes ECI’s Decision to Defer Polls for Islamabad-Rajouri Seat

Omar Abdullah Criticizes ECI’s Decision to Defer Polls for Islamabad-Rajouri Seat

May 2, 2024 Off By Sharp Media

National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah has condemned the Election Commission of India’s decision to postpone polls for the Islamabad-Rajouri parliamentary seat, alleging that it aims to disenfranchise nomadic communities.

Initially scheduled for May 7, the election in the redrawn Islamabad-Rajouri constituency was rescheduled for May 25 following representations from multiple parties.

Speaking at a rally jointly organized by the National Conference and its coalition partner Congress in the Dooru area of south Kashmir’s Islamabad district, Omar Abdullah criticized the ECI’s move as a blatant abuse of power.

“The ECI’s decision to reschedule elections is a brazen violation of power. It is clearly aimed to deprive the nomadic community of the Pir Panchal region of the right to vote,” Abdullah asserted. He noted that the decision was made in response to pleas from parties like the BJP and Peoples Conference (PC), neither of which are contesting from this seat.

“We even wrote to the ECI that those seeking postponement of the elections are not in the fray, but our pleas were overlooked,” Abdullah lamented. He further emphasized that the Mughal road is not the sole route connecting Kashmir with Rajouri-Poonch.

Abdullah’s remarks underscore the contentious nature of the ECI’s decision, which has sparked allegations of political manipulation and disenfranchisement. The postponement of elections in the Islamabad-Rajouri constituency has raised concerns about the integrity and fairness of the electoral process, particularly in regions with significant nomadic populations.

As the controversy unfolds, questions arise regarding the transparency and accountability of the Election Commission of India and its adherence to democratic principles. Abdullah’s criticism reflects broader anxieties about the erosion of democratic norms and the need for robust safeguards to protect the electoral rights of all citizens, including marginalized communities.