Announcement on Jammu and Kashmir Assembly polls likely this month

Date:

The Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly elections may be announced this month. The Election Commission will likely aim to conduct the elections soon, taking advantage of the positive atmosphere in the region. According to sources, it is possible that the elections will be completed by mid-August, although the monsoon season poses a significant challenge for holding elections during this time reported India Today.

The enthusiasm of the general public in Jammu and Kashmir for democracy and voting has also inspired the Election Commission.

To facilitate the elections, the Commission has taken another step by inviting non-recognised but registered parties to apply for their preferred election symbols. This means that political parties registered with the Commission, even if not recognised as regional parties, can field candidates under a common election symbol. However, they must choose from available free symbols.

Until now, only candidates from national, state, or regionally recognised parties could contest elections under a common symbol, while registered party candidates competed as independents with separate free symbols.

The Election Commission is delighted with the 58.58% overall voter turnout and 51.05% turnout in the Valley during the Lok Sabha elections. These elections were among the most peaceful in the region in the last three to four decades. Encouraged by the enthusiastic public sentiment, the Commission has taken this initiative.

Earlier, the Election Commission had clarified during the announcement of the general elections in March that there were security-related hurdles to conducting the Legislative Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir. However, the Commission indicated that the Assembly elections would be held soon after the Lok Sabha elections. It now seems likely that the elections will be completed by August or September, before the onset of winter.

The Supreme Court’s constitutional bench has also directed the central government to hold the Legislative Assembly elections by September 30, as the delimitation and voter list revision work has been completed, with promising results expected.

The people of Jammu and Kashmir hope that the new government will restore statehood soon. Delimitation has altered the boundaries of assembly constituencies, incorporating new areas. The number of seats has increased from 107 to 114, including 24 seats for Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

The Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly will have 90 seats, including the newly formed Vaishno Devi and Katra constituencies in Reasi district. According to the Delimitation Commission’s final report, the new assembly will have 43 seats in the Jammu region and 47 in the Kashmir Valley division. Nine seats will be reserved for Scheduled Castes and seven for Scheduled Tribes. Out of the five Lok Sabha seats, two each will be in the Jammu and Kashmir divisions, while one will cover shared areas of both regions.

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