SRINAGAR — With anticipation mounting, political parties in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir are hopeful that the much-awaited Assembly polls could be conducted either independently or simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections later this year.

The last Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir took place in 2014, preceding the reorganization of the erstwhile state into two Union territories on August 5, 2019.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar has emphasized that a decision regarding separate or simultaneous elections would be made after a thorough review of security concerns and feedback.

Despite the complexities involved, Kumar maintained that there was no delay on the part of the Election Commission in facilitating Assembly polls in the UT.

The demand for expedited assembly elections has gained momentum from mainstream parties in Jammu and Kashmir.

Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar underscored the Commission’s awareness of the prevailing “vacuum” in the Union territory, stressing the imperative to address it promptly. He reiterated the Commission’s commitment to fulfilling its responsibilities, ensuring timely elections to uphold democratic values.

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The news agency KNS reported that a senior BJP leader expressed the party’s unwavering readiness for elections, reaffirming their dedication to the democratic process.

Echoing similar sentiments, a representative from the Apni Party emphasized the populace’s eagerness for electoral participation, urging the Election Commission to expedite the decision-making process.

The prolonged absence of an elected government has fueled the urgency for timely elections, with political stakeholders advocating for swift action to address the prevailing political vacuum.

Despite reservations expressed by certain National Conference leaders regarding the perceived lack of initiative in conducting overdue assembly elections, the consensus remains firm on the imperative of electoral governance.

Asserting the need for decisive action, stakeholders emphasize the pivotal role of the Election Commission in mitigating the political vacuum and fulfilling the populace’s democratic aspirations.

Amid ongoing deliberations, the Election Commission stands as the final authority on the matter, tasked with navigating the complexities and assessing the ground realities in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.

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The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Jammu and Kashmir administration are pivotal in providing crucial insights into the prevailing situation, facilitating informed decision-making by the Election Commission.

Despite the absence of a formal announcement, political activities continue unabated in the region, with parties mobilizing supporters and advocating for timely elections.

Ravinder Raina, President of the BJP, reiterated the party’s commitment to electoral governance, expressing optimism for imminent polls.

The prevailing sentiment among BJP leaders reflects a sense of readiness and confidence in securing a decisive mandate to steer Jammu and Kashmir towards a new era of governance and development.

As political fervour intensifies, stakeholders eagerly await the Election Commission’s decision, hopeful for a swift resolution that will pave the way for democratic governance and pave the path for Jammu and Kashmir’s inclusive development.

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