Going by the activities of the various mainstream political parties and the gearing up of the district administration the first assembly elections in the UT of J&K could be held by the end of this year or early next year.
For the last one week, deputy commissioners, who have also been nominated as DEOs of their respective districts, are busy holding meetings to finalise on special summary revision (SSR) of photo electoral rolls that needs to be completed before October.
The preparation to train government employees to operate EVMs and VVPTs is about to begin in all districts.
A workshop on first-level checking of EVMs and VVPATs will be held in Srinagar next week that will be presided over by a team from the election commission and attended by DEOs and their deputies from 10 districts of Kashmir, similar the same workshop will be held in Jammu.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has said that decision to schedule elections in J&K is ECI’s Prerogative.
While replying to a question about the time-frame by which the situation in Kashmir would be brought to normal for starting democratic process in the Valley, Minister of State in MHA, Nityanand Rai said the Government had constituted a delimitation Commission, which has notified Orders on 14th March, 2022 and 5th May, 2022 on delimitation of Parliamentary and Legislative Assembly Constituencies of the Jammu and Kashmir. He said that thereafter, the Election Commission of India has initiated revision of electoral rolls of voters of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The decision to schedule elections is the prerogative of the Election Commission of India.
ECI has already told the J&K government to complete revision of electoral rolls in next couple of months.He also said that there has been decline in (militant) attacks from 417 in 2018 to 229 in 2021 due to series of steps taken by the government. He said there were 229 militancy related incidents in J&K last year in which 42 security personnel and 41 civilians were killed. 117 security personnel and 75 civilians were injured during 2021, he said. In 2020, he said there were 244 militancy related incidents in J&K in which 62 security personnel and 37 civilians were killed. 106 security personnel and 112 civilians were injured in the year.
After abrogation of Article 370, the mainstream politicians have been making two demands holding of elections and the granting of statehood. With the delimitation exercise already over the clamour for early elections is picking up. Also the political parties are bracing for elections and all the parties are making preparation for the elections, from last four years the J&K is without the assembly. The elections could also pave way for restoration of the statehood once there is an elected government in place in the UT.