Hope of assembly elections taking place in Jammu and Kashmir this year have diminished with the Election Commission revising the date for publishing the final electoral rolls to November 25 from October 31. Political parties have been demanding early elections for the assembly as the Union Territory (UT) is without an elected government for nearly four years.
Deferment of the publication of final electoral rolls means the assembly elections after abrogation of Article 370 and splitting the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two UTs will not be held in the current year.
The Election Commission had earlier announced publication of the final electoral rolls of J&K on October 31, but the revised schedule of special summary revision says that the rolls will be published on 15 September and the final rolls published on November 25.
The commission has said that disposal of claims will be made by November 10, checking of health parameters and obtaining commission’s permission for final publication and updating database and printing of supplements will be completed by November 19.
Jammu and Kashmir has been without the assembly since November 2018 when the legislative assembly was dissolved after PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti staked claim to form a government with the support of various Valley-based parties. Consequently, governor’s rule was imposed on the state in June 2018 after the BJP pulled out of the Mufti-led PDP-BJP coalition government.
Elections for the assembly were put on hold following the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A in August 2017, which ended Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, and the commencement of the delimitation exercise that was recently completed raising hopes of early elections. The delimitation commission created six new assembly seats in the Jammu division and one more in Kashmir Valley.