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Cong, NC meet, talk strategy for bypolls

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Srinagar: The National Conference and Congress, which have joined hands to contest the bypolls to two Lok Sabha constituencies in Kashmir Valley, on Sunday held a meeting to discuss their strategy for the elections.
The senior leadership of both parties, including NC president Farooq Abdullah, working president Omar Abdullah, and Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir, were present at the high-level coordination meeting, an NC spokesman said.
The leaders of both parties discussed the current political situation and also reviewed joint preparations in Srinagar and Anantnag Parliamentary segments.
Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency goes to polls on April 9, and Anantnag on April 12.
The NC and Congress have entered into a seat sharing agreement for the bypolls. The regional party has fielded its president Farooq Abdullah from Srinagar while the Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir will contest from Anantnag.
The PDP has fielded Tassaduq Hussain, brother of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, from Anantnag and Nazir Ahmad Khan from Srinagar.
The Srinagar Lok Sabha seat was vacated by former PDP leader Tariq Hamid Karra who had resigned last year in September in protest against alleged “brutalities” on protesters.

Anantnag LS bypoll:
EC reviews preparations
Srinagar: Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday reviewed the preparedness and security arrangements for the forthcoming bypoll for Anantnag Parliamentary seat which is going to polls on April 12.
The constituency is spread over four revenue districts, five police districts and 16 assembly segments with a total of 13,27,638 voters, including 1495 service voters, for which 1635 polling stations in 1146 locations have been designated, an official spokesman said here.
He said during the meeting, the CEO Shantmanu was briefed that for smooth, free and fair conduct of the elections, 16 Assistant Returning Officers (ARO) have been designated, while as nodal officers, zonal and sectoral magistrates and teams for overall supervision of elections have been constituted for all the four districts in the constituency.
The concerned District Election Officers (DEOs) detailed the locations of strong rooms, collection and distribution centres and other issues related to elections, the spokesman said.
With respect to Electoral Photo ID Card (EPIC) coverage, the spokesman said, it was given that Kulgam district has achieved 96.19 per cent, while as Pulwama, Shopian and Anantnag have achieved 91 per cent, 91.77 per cent and 95.35 per cent respectively.
He said regarding the security arrangements, DIG South Kashmir gave a detailed description of the security arrangements put in place for successful and peaceful conduct of the elections.
Speaking on the occasion, the CEO directed the Returning Officer (RO) to constitute nodal officers at the parliamentary constituency level so that better coordination is ensured.
He also directed for giving magisterial powers to the magistrates associated with the elections.
He directed the RO to ensure the submission of daily reports especially the law and order reports for which the PCR Anantnag was entrusted to compile the details from all the districts for further submission to the Chief Electoral Office.
Shantmanu stressed for coordination between civil administration and security agencies for the successful and transparent conduct of the elections.
Besides, he called for early preparation of communication and transport plans at respective district levels, the spokesman said.
The last date for filing of nomination papers for the constituency is March 27 and last date of withdrawal of nominations is March 29.
Polling for the Anantnag Parliamentary seat is on April 12, while the date of counting, as per the notification, is April 15.

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