Will start holding Assembly elections in J&K very soon: CEC Kumar

New Delhi: Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar addresses foreign delegates of Election Management Bodies (EMB) of 23 countries during a briefing meeting in New Delhi, Sunday, May 5, 2024. (Photo: PTI)

Encouraged by the turnout of voters in Jammu and Kashmir in the Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission will “very soon” initiate the process of holding assembly elections in the Union Territory, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said on Saturday.

He also told PTI Videos that the people of Jammu and Kashmir deserve their government.

Replying to a question on the voter turnout in various seats of Jammu and Kashmir and whether parliamentary elections could be held soon, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kumar said the poll panel is very encouraged by people’s participation in the parliamentary elections.

“It’s music to our ears. People – young people, women – like to come out in large numbers to vote. The roots of democracy are being further strengthened, people are participating,” he said.

“They deserve their government. We will initiate that process very soon, highly encouraged to do so,” the CEC added.

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

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

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

Following a delimitation exercise, the number of seats in parliament increased from 83 to 90, excluding the seats 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.

(Only the headline and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

First print: May 25, 2024 | 2:07 PM IST