Process to hold assembly polls in J-K to begin soon: CEC Kumar

Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar
Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar

SRINAGAR — Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India Rajeev Kumar on Saturday said that the process of holding assembly elections in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will commence soon.

This announcement comes as the final phase of voting for the parliamentary seats in the region concludes with the polls on Anantnag-Rajouri seat.

As per news agency KNO, CEC Kumar, while addressing media in New Delhi, expressed his satisfaction with the high voter turnout witnessed across Jammu and Kashmir during the five phases of parliamentary elections. He highlighted the enthusiastic participation of youth, women, and the elderly, noting that it signifies the strengthening of democratic roots in the region.

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“The people of Jammu and Kashmir are entitled to choose their government. They deserve their own government. We will begin this process very soon… we are very encouraged to do so,” Kumar said.

The CEC emphasized the importance of conducting separate assembly and parliamentary elections, citing logistical and security challenges as the primary reasons.

Following a recent delimitation exercise, the number of assembly seats in Jammu and Kashmir has increased from 83 to 90, excluding seats allocated to ‘Pakistan-occupied Kashmir’.

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The Supreme Court had mandated the government to hold assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir by September 30, 2023. However, logistical complexities delayed the process. Now, with the completion of the parliamentary elections, the Election Commission is set to initiate the assembly elections, which typically span a month due to the region’s unique challenges.

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