NEW DELHI: The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday objected to the suggestions made by Jammu & Kashmir Lieutenant Governor (L-G) GC Murmu indicating that the Assembly polls in the Union Territory (UT) could be held after the delimitation exercise is completed.
The Commission on Tuesday said such statements “virtually tantamount to interfering” with its “Constitutional mandate”. It also said other authorities should refrain from making such statements.
The EC, in a statement, further said, “It would be proper for authorities other than the Election Commission to refrain from making such statements which virtually tantamount to interfering with the Constitutional mandate of Election Commission.”
Taking note of the media reports quoting the J&K L-G, the panel said, “The Election Commission takes exception to such statements and would like to state that in the Constitutional scheme of things, the timings, etc. of elections is the sole remit of Election Commission of India.”
Before deciding the timing of any election, the panel said, it “takes into consideration all the relevant factors including topography, weather, and sensitivities, arising out of regional and local festivities in the area(s), where the election is to take place”.
“For example, in the current times, Covid-19 has introduced a new dynamism, which has to be and shall be taken into consideration at the due time. In the instant case, the outcome of delimitation is also germane to the decision. Similarly, availability of central forces and railway coaches, etc. for the transportation of CPFs are important factors,” the EC statement read.
All this is done after meticulous homework by the senior officials of the Commission and a detailed assessment in due consultation with authorities concerned, it said, adding that the Commission “itself schedules a visit to the concerned State wherever required and holds extensive consultations with all the stakeholders” before announcing the poll schedule.