EC all set for polls in J&K by Oct-end

Assembly elections likely in 6-8 phases

With the dust of the parliamentary elections having just settled, the Election Commission has started the process to hold the Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir, scheduled later this year. 

While the new Assembly has to be constituted before January 19, 2015, the EC would like to complete the electoral process by the middle of December as harsh winter sets in after December 21. 

Sources told Deccan Herald that the elections are likely to take more than a month as it would be held in six to eight phases due to security reasons. 

“The Commission is unlikely to go for summary revision of electoral rolls due to paucity of time, but would continue to update the electoral rolls to facilitate young and new voters to exercise their right to vote in the elections,” they said.

Sources said polls could start in the last week of October or first week of November and end by the middle of December. “An announcement for the elections could be made by the end of August or start of September,’’ they said, adding that the model code of conduct would come into force as soon as the election date is announced.

Chief Electoral Officer Umang Narula said they have set the process to hold elections to the new Assembly in motion. 

“The preparations have started well in advance. But a decision on summary revision of electoral rolls would be taken by the Election Commission for all five states jointly which are going to the polls later this year or early next year,’’ he said.

Narula said they had to keep electronic voting machines – used in just concluded parliamentary elections – intact for at least 45 days under the rules as any candidate can file election petition in that time period. 

After 45 days, the EVMs would be readied for the Assembly elections. “We will also examine as to how many more EVMs were required for the Assembly elections as a number of polling booths could go up,” he added. The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly has 87 seats, including 46 in Kashmir valley, 37 in Jammu region and four in Ladakh.

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