Polls in J&K after winters keeping in mind security scenari: Sources

NEW DELHI — Elections in Jammu and Kashmir may be held next year after winter conditions subside, and the timing would depend on the security scenario in the union territory, sources said on Friday.

The final electoral roll of Jammu and Kashmir was published on November 25, paving the way for polls, the first since Article 370 provisions were abrogated and J&K was bifurcated into two Union territories in 2019.

But with winter conditions setting in, the polls could take place in the summer of 2023 keeping the latest security situation in mind, the sources said.

The harsh winter conditions may leave the poll authorities with little option but to hold the exercise in the summer of next year.

Weather and security are the two parameters which will guide the poll authorities in deciding on the poll schedule, the sources said.

Holding polls in Jammu and Kashmir is entails a massive logistical exercise due to the terrain and the security situation with thousands of personnel from central armed police forces being deployed to ensure peace and free and fair polls.

The electoral exercise in Jammu and Kashmir is usually spread over a month.

The revision of the electoral rolls was done after a gap of nearly three years. It was last carried out with reference to January 1, 2019 as the qualifying date.

The electoral rolls could not be updated after the abrogation of provisions of Article 370. Later, the constituencies were redrawn following a delimitation exercise.

Following the delimitation, the number of assembly seats have gone up from 83 to 90, excluding the seats allocated to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.

The final electoral rolls of Jammu and Kashmir were published on November 25 with the highest-ever addition of more than 11 lakh voters, officials had said.

Taking into account the deletion of names from the electoral rolls, the net increase stood at 7,72,872 electors, they said.

The final electoral rolls have a total of 83,59,771 electors — 42,91,687 males, 40,67,900 females and 184 third gender.

During this special summary revision period, a record 11,40,768 claims were received for inclusion of names in the electoral rolls across the Union territory.

Out of these, 11,28,672 claims were accepted and only 12,096 claims were rejected. These included 3,01,961 claims of inclusion in the age group of 18-19.

A total of 4,12,157 requests for deletion were received, out of which 3,58,222 were accepted and 53,935 were rejected.

There has been an addition of 613 new polling stations in the Union territory.

The gender ratio of the final electoral Roll has increased from 921 to 948. — (PTI)