J&K Due For Polls But Decision After Considering Security, Weather

Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir will be held keeping in mind various factors, including weather and security concerns, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar said on Wednesday.

Responding to a reporter’s question here on the possible timing of polls in the Union Territory, Kumar said, “We are conscious that in any place which is due for elections, it is our duty that we get the government in place as mandated.”

He noted that the delimitation process in Jammu and Kashmir has been completed and so is the special summary revision or revision of electoral roll. The CEC said returning officers and additional electoral registration officers have also been appointed in the rearranged and new constituencies.

“We are aware that once the process is complete, they (polls) must be held. And taking the weather, taking the security concerns and all other factors…other elections at that time…. (into consideration, we will take a decision),” he said.

The final electoral roll of Jammu and Kashmir was published on November 25 last year, paving the way for the Assembly polls, the first since the provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution were abrogated in 2019 and the erstwhile state was bifurcated into Union territories.

The revision of the electoral roll was carried out after a gap of nearly three years. It was last carried out with reference to January 1, 2019 as the qualifying date.

The electoral roll could not be updated after the abrogation of the provisions of Article 370. Subsequently, the constituencies were redrawn following a delimitation exercise.

After the delimitation exercise, the number of Assembly seats in the Union Territory has gone up from 83 to 90, excluding the seats allocated to Pakistan-administered Kashmir (PaK).