Millennium Post (Kolkata)

Assembly polls in J&K will be held after LS polls: CEC Rajiv Kumar


Chief Election Commission­er (CEC) Rajiv Kumar announced on Saturday that the Assembly election in Jammu and Kashmir would be conducted after the Lok Sabha polls due to security concerns. The Lok Sabha elections will unfold in seven phases starting April 19, with the results anticipate­d on June 4.

When queried about the decision to not hold the Assembly polls concurrent­ly with the Lok Sabha elections in Jammu and Kashmir, the CEC elucidated that the logistical challenge of providing security to every candidate in the union territory necessitat­ed a separate timeline.

Moreover, Rajiv Kumar pointed out that the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisa­tion Act underwent amendments in December 2023, following

a delimitati­on exercise. Consequent­ly, the Election Commission (EC) was prompted to initiate the electoral process post these modificati­ons.

“The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisa­tion Act was passed in 2019. There was a provision for 107 seats, 24 of which were in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Then the delimitati­on commission came and there was a change in the seats .... The reorganisa­tion Act and delimitati­on were not in sync. That happened in December 2023. So our meter started running from December 2023,” Kumar said.

“All parties in Jammu and Kashmir said the Assembly election should be held with the parliament­ary polls, but the

entire administra­tive machinery said it cannot be done simultaneo­usly.

Every Assembly segment would have 10-12 candidates, which would mean more than 1,000 candidates. Every candidate has to be provided forces. It was not possible at this time,” the CEC added.

“But we stand committed that as soon as these elections are over, we will hold elections there,” he asserted.

The Lok Sabha polls in Jammu and Kashmir are to be

held in five phases: phase 1 on April 19, phase 2 on April 26, phase 3 on May 7, phase 4 on May 13, and phase 5 on May 20.

The EC also announced the schedule for Assembly elections in four states of Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Odisha.

People residing in camps in violence-affected Manipur can cast votes from their camps in the forthcomin­g Lok Sabha elections, assured Chief Election Commission­er Rajiv Kumar.

 ?? PIC/PTI ?? CEC Rajiv Kumar during announceme­nt of the schedule for General Elections 2024, in New Delhi
PIC/PTI CEC Rajiv Kumar during announceme­nt of the schedule for General Elections 2024, in New Delhi

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