EC Begins Updating Electoral Rolls for J&K Along With Haryana, Jharkhand and Maharashtra

4 weeks ago
The combined voter turnout at the polling stations for the entire Union Territory with five Lok Sabha seats was a record 58.46%. (PTI)

The combined voter turnout at the polling stations for the entire Union Territory with five Lok Sabha seats was a record 58.46%. (PTI)

The Supreme Court has set September 30, 2024 as the deadline for the EC to complete the election process in J&K. Earlier this month, News18 had reported that the period between August and September is being considered for holding the Assembly elections. However, the poll panel is yet to announce the tentative timeline for the polls

The historic participation from Jammu and Kashmir in Lok Sabha elections 2024 has prompted the Election Commission of India to initiate preparations for Assembly elections in the Union Territory, starting with the updating of electoral rolls.

The last time J&K voted in Assembly elections was in 2014 when it was still a state and enjoyed special status under Article 370. In 2019, special status to the state was revoked and it was divided into two UTs – J&K and Ladakh. The UT has been awaiting Assembly elections since then.

The Supreme Court has set September 30, 2024 as the deadline for the EC to complete the election process in J&K. Earlier this month, News18 had reported that the EC has started groundwork in the UT and the period between August and September is being considered for holding Assembly elections. However, the Election Commission is yet to announce the tentative timeline for the polls.

In a statement, issued on Friday, the poll body said that after the successful completion of the Lok Sabha elections, it has initiated preparations for Assembly elections in Haryana, Maharashtra, and Jharkhand along with the process to update electoral rolls in these states with July 1, 2024 as the qualifying date.

The terms of the Haryana and Maharashtra Assemblies end in November. The term of the Jharkhand Assembly ends in January 2025. Elections to these Legislative Assemblies are required to be conducted before the completion of their terms.

“Besides, General Election to the Legislative Assembly of UT of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) is also to be conducted for constituting a new house after delimitation of constituencies. Witnessing the huge participation of the people of Jammu and Kashmir in the recently concluded Lok Sabha Elections, the Commission has also directed for the updation of the electoral rolls in the UT of J&K with July 1, 2024 as the qualifying date,” the EC statement said.

Earlier this month, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar had said that the huge participation of J&K in Lok Sabha elections “is very hopeful and inspiring”, showing how eager people are to participate in democracy.

“It’s crucial for people to stay peaceful and united, fulfilling their aspirations and decide their future and governance. The Commission is excited and gratified to help make this happen and will soon start the Assembly election process in J&K,” he had said.

The EC statement also added that the commission’s intensive and sustained focus has always been in ensuring inclusivity, purity, and health of electoral roll so that no eligible citizen is deprived of their right to be included in the electoral roll and to maintain error free electoral roll without any duplicate and ineligible entries, to the extent possible.

“Therefore, the Commission appeals to all the eligible citizens to come forward to get themselves enrolled in the electoral roll, if not enrolled so far, to exercise their voting right in the forthcoming elections,” it added.

Jammu and Kashmir recorded the highest voter turnout in a Lok Sabha poll in last 35 years, with the Kashmir Valley witnessing a “massive” 30 points jump in poll participation compared to 2019. The combined voter turnout at the polling stations for the entire Union Territory with five Lok Sabha seats was 58.46 per cent.

The three seats in the Valley — Srinagar, Baramulla and Anantnag-Rajouri — recorded turnout of 38.49 per cent, 59.1 per cent and 54.84 per cent, respectively, which has been the highest in last three decades. The other two seats in the UT — Udhampur and Jammu — recorded 68.27 per cent and 72.22 per cent voter turnout, respectively.

Nivedita Singh

Nivedita Singh is a data journalist and covers the Election Commission, Indian Railways and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. She has nearly se

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