The Election Commission has begun preparations for conducting elections in Jammu and Kashmir after the completion of the delimitation exercise, and the polls may take place in October-November, according to top sources. If this happens, then the elections in Jammu and Kashmir will take place along with Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh polls this year.
According to top sources of the Election Commission, the poll panel had recently met with the officials who were part of the Delimitation Commission. The Chief Electoral Officer of Jammu and Kashmir was also present in the meeting. The EC was briefed about the delimitation and the requirements for conducting polls in J&K. A letter will be written to the Chief Electoral Officer for starting the necessary work.
If the preparations related to holding the elections are not completed by September, then the elections will take place after February next year. In fact, it is impossible to conduct elections in December, January and February in J&K due to snowfall.
Work of Election Commission
The Election Commission has to prepare the assembly constituencies, according to the new delimitation of assembly seats. Under this, from the identification of the polling station to determining officers apart from assigning in charge, preparing and reviewing the voters’ list. The Election Commission has six months till September to complete all the necessary work.
J&K Assembly After Delimitation
Recently, after 26 months of the exercise, the delimitation of Assembly and Lok Sabha seats in Jammu and Kashmir was completed. Election will be held for the 90 assembly seats in Jammu and Kashmir, and, for the first time, nine seats have been reserved for the Scheduled Tribes. All five Lok Sabha seats of Jammu and Kashmir are made up of exactly 18 assembly constituencies each, taking the total number to 90. There are 43 seats in the Jammu region and 47 in the Kashmir region. The boundary of any one assembly constituency has not been kept in more than one district.
The erstwhile J&K state had 111 seats, 46 in Kashmir, 37 in Jammu, and 4 in Ladakh, and 24 seats reserved for Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. When Ladakh was created as UT, J&K was left with 107 seats, including 24 seats from PoK.
After the abrogation of Article 370, the total number of assembly seats in Jammu and Kashmir increased to 114, incudling 90 from J&K.