EC's latest action shows assembly polls imminent in Jammu and Kashmir

EC's latest action shows assembly polls imminent in Jammu and Kashmir


In an indication that assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir are imminent, the Election Commission on Friday said it has decided to accept applications seeking allotment of 'common symbols' from registered unrecognised parties in the Union Territory with immediate effect. An official explained that under Para 10 B of the Election Symbols (Reservation & Allotment) Order, 1968, any registered unrecognised political party can apply for a 'common symbol' six months prior to the end of the term of a House.

But since no assembly is functional in Jammu and Kashmir, the Election Commission (EC) has issued a press statement inviting applications for symbols.


While recognised national and state parties have their 'reserved symbols', registered unrecognised parties have to apply for one to field candidates. When free symbols are allocated to unrecognised parties, the returning officer allocates the remaining unclaimed symbols to Independents "on the spot".

"The Commission has decided to accept applications seeking allotment of common symbols under Para 10B of the Election Symbols (Reservation & Allotment) Order, 1968, for the General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir with immediate effect," the EC statement read.

Enthused by the voter participation in Jammu and Kashmir in the just-held Lok Sabha polls, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar had recently told PTI Video that the poll panel will "very soon" initiate the process of holding assembly polls in the Union Territory.

While announcing the schedule for the Lok Sabha elections in March, Kumar said holding assembly and parliamentary elections simultaneously was not practical due to logistical and security reasons.


Whenever assembly elections are held in Jammu and Kashmir, they will be the first since the August 2019 abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution and the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories.

The electoral exercise in Jammu and Kashmir is usually spread over a month.

Following a delimitation exercise, the number of assembly seats has gone up from 83 to 90, excluding those allocated to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

In December, the Supreme Court directed the poll panel to hold assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir by September 30.
 

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