Setting the ball rolling to hold assembly polls in J&K, ECI orders revision of electoral rolls

The Supreme Court had last year directed the ECI to hold assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir by September 30.
Image used for representation.
Image used for representation. File - PTI

NEW DELHI: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi indicated that preparations for the assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir had begun, the poll panel has set the ball rolling for holding the electoral exercise by ordering a special summary revision of the electoral rolls in the Union Territory (UT) on Friday.

Along with J&K, the Election Commission has also ordered a special summary revision in other poll-bound states, including Maharashtra, Haryana, and Jharkhand, where the assembly elections will be held later this year.

In identical official communications to the chief electoral officers of the concerned states and UT, the poll panel said, “It is to state that the election to the legislative assembly in your state is due to be held later this year, and Section 21(2) of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1950, provides that the electoral rolls shall be revised with reference to the qualifying date before each general election to the Legislative Assembly of a state.”

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ECI officially starts process for holding Assembly election in Jammu and Kashmir

In the letter, the poll panel said, accordingly, “To maximize the registration of all eligible voters, who are attaining the age of 18 years on or before July 1, 2024, and with the purpose of improving the health of the electoral roll, the Commission has decided to carry out a second summary revision of photo electoral rolls w.r.t. July 1, 2024, as the qualifying date in your state.”

The revision exercise would start from July 25 and culminate on August 20, the ECI directed the CEOs in the letter. Before the revision exercise, the poll panel would also carry out pre-revision activities in J&K and three states from June 25 to July 24.

The draft rolls would be published on July 25, after which electors have the chance to file claims and objections till August 9. The publication of the final electoral roll will be done by August 20, as per the schedule.

It is to be noted here that the Supreme Court had last year directed the ECI to hold assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir by September 30.

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While J&K is presently not having an assembly since it was dissolved in 2018, the term of the Haryana, Maharashtra, and Jharkhand assemblies is ending on November 11, November 26, and January 5, 2025, meaning the elections have to be completed before that.

“General Election to the Legislative Assembly of UT of J&K is also to be conducted for constituting a new house after delimitation of constituencies. Witnessing the huge participation of the people of Jammu and Kashmir in the recently concluded Lok Sabha Elections, the Commission has also directed for the updation of the electoral rolls in the UT of J&K with July 1, 2024 as the qualifying date,” the ECI said in a statement.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, speaking at the ‘Empowering Youth, Transforming J&K’ event in Srinagar at SKICC on Thursday, said that preparations have begun for assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir. He said the people of Jammu and Kashmir would elect their representatives at the local level, and through them, they would find ways to solve problems.

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