Big Update Regarding Lok Sabha Elections In Jammu and Kashmir

Big Update Regarding Lok Sabha Elections In Jammu and Kashmir

After review by the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), the Election Commission of India will assess preparedness of Jammu and Kashmir including ongoing Special Summary Revision on December 5 through virtual mode with the CEO and all 20 Deputy Commissioners, who have been designated as the District Electoral Officers (DEOs).

    Officials confirmed to the Excelsior that a high-level meeting has been scheduled by the Election Commission of India at 2.30 pm on December 5 for review of preparedness with CEO PK Pole, top officials of the Commission dealing with J&K, CEO office and all 20 Deputy Commissioners of Jammu and Kashmir through video conferencing.

    Only a day before i.e. on December 1, the CEO had himself reviewed preparedness for Lok Sabha elections in Jammu and Kashmir with all 20 DCs and SSPs. Now, the Election Commission will review the preparedness, the officials said.

    “Every election is crucial in Jammu and Kashmir in view of always attempts from across the border to disrupt them. Therefore, preparations for the Parliamentary polls are being discussed in advance,’’ the officials said but added that presently the primary focus of the Election Commission as well as the CEO office is on Special Summary Revision which is going to conclude shortly and final electoral rolls are due to be published on January 8.

    As soon as the final electoral rolls are published, other preparations like finalization of Polling Stations, deployment of staff, security arrangements etc will start, the officials said, adding number of EVMs and VVPATs required for five Parliamentary seats in the Union Territory are under discussion.

    The Election Commission is anticipating electorates in Jammu and Kashmir to touch 9 million after publication of final electoral rolls in the UT on January 8.

    Jammu and Kashmir has five Parliamentary seats including Jammu-Rajouri, Udhampur-Doda, Srinagar-Budgam, Baramulla-Kupwara and South Kashmir-Poonch. Presently, three seats are held by the National Conference and two by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

    Elections in J&K are likely to be held in five phases with one Lok Sabha seat each going to polls in one phase. This is done to rotate security forces from one Lok Sabha seat to another as the Central Government, mainly the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, is not in a position to provide additional forces as Parliamentary polls are held across the country. However, some companies of paramilitary forces may be given to Jammu and Kashmir to ensure peaceful polling.

    They said sufficient number of EVMs are available while more can be given by the Election Commission depending on number of polling stations to be set up for Lok Sabha polls.

    As per the officials, numbers of the polling booths will be finalized in consultations with the District Election Officers after some time.

    Number of electorates in Jammu and Kashmir had gone up to 83.59 lakh when Special Summary Revision was carried out and final electoral rolls were published on November 25 last year. The numbers further went up to 8.5 million when the Special Summary Revision was undertaken by the Election Commission this year and final rolls were published on May 27.

    The delimitation exercise concluded on May 5, 2022 by the Panel when it unveiled the final electoral map of J&K. Jammu & Kashmir is without an elected Government for almost five and half year years now.

    In the Special Summary Revision undertaken after Delimitation exercise, final rolls were published on November 25, 2022. In second Special Summary Revision, final rolls were published on May 27, 2023.

    The erstwhile State is under the Central rule from June 19, 2018 when BJP withdrew support to Mehbooba Mufti-led Government, citing “deteriorating security situation” in J&K.

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