Keeping in view the ongoing unrest in the Kashmir Valley, the Election Commission (EC) on Monday night cancelled the Anantnag Loksabha bypoll in Jammu and Kashmir and said the situation is not feasible to hold free and fair elections for now.
"In view of the prevailing ground situation and non-availability of sufficient security forces, the Commission is of the considered view that peaceful, free and fair poll is not feasible on May 25, as scheduled, though some political parties have asked for the same,” the EC said in its 10-page order.
The bypoll, earlier scheduled to be held on 12 April, was postponed for 25 May due to poor law and order situation.
The byelection to the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat was necessitated following the resignation of Lok Sabha MP Mehbooba Mufti last year to take over as chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir.
According to reports, the EC had sought deployment of around 740 companies of paramilitary personnel for the bypoll but the Home Ministry, however, said it could only provide around 300.
The PDP, the ruling coalition partner in Jammu and Kashmir, had urged the EC to defer indefinitely the bypoll to the Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency in the wake of the volatile situation prevailing there.
Later in the day, Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra will meet Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday to discuss the situation of the Valley.
(With inputs from agencies)