Election Commission team headed by Rajiv Kumar to visit J&K next week

JAMMU — Headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar, the full election commission is likely to visit Jammu and Kashmir next week to assess the ground situation here.

Official sources said that during its two to three day stay here the election commissioner will visit both Jammu and Kashmir divisions of the UT.

“The full Commission will interact with all top officials of the election department, 20 deputy commissioners, representatives of all recognised national and regional political parties and other stakeholders.

“The Commission is likely to take feedback from deputy commissioners, election commission officials, political parties and other organisations,” sources said.

A few days back, while announcing the schedule for Karnataka Assembly elections, CEC Rajiv Kumar had said that there is a vacuum in Jammu and Kashmir which needs to be filled.

He also said that the ongoing special summary revision of electoral rolls will not affect the election schedule.

Unless extended, the final electoral rolls of Jammu and Kashmir will be published on May 10.

In light of the summer tourist season and the annual Amarnath Yatra that begins in June and will end in August, there is no likelihood of the Assembly elections being held here before autumn.

The Assembly elections might be delayed further if the situation is not conducive and these would then be held together with the Lok Sabha elections in April-May 2024.

Last Assembly elections were held here in November 2014. A PDP-BJP coalition government took office in March 2015 and the coalition government fell after the BJP withdrew from it in July 2018.

J&K was downgraded to a union territory in 2019 and bifurcated into UTs of J&K and Ladakh. This followed the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A by Parliament on August 5, 2019.

Sources, however, said local Panchayat and municipal elections are likely to be held this year as the five-year term of these expires in January 2024. — (IANS)