Many who are privy to the developments say elections may be held next year around April-May if everything goes normally.
NEW DELHI: After the delimitation commission which was appointed by the government of India to redraw the electoral map of Jammu and Kashmir submitted its much-awaited final report, the speculation of holding elections in Jammu and Kashmir had gathered momentum as even Home Minister Amit Shah in January had said that elections would be held in Jammu and Kashmir after the completion of the delimitation process. Many people privy to the latest developments believe that elections might be held next year around April-May if everything goes normally.
Talking to The Sunday Guardian, S. Varinder Jeet Singh, senior Vice-President of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Jammu and Kashmir, said, “As the delimitation commission has submitted its report now, we are very much hopeful that elections may happen in one year. It will take six more months to make new electoral rolls and complete other formalities. Conducting elections in the winter is not possible in Jammu and Kashmir due to extreme weather difficulties; hence, in all probability, the elections will happen in next year April-May. On the issue of whether political parties in the region are satisfied by the delimitation process, he added, “Our party, the BJP, is fully satisfied by the recommendations of the delimitation commission, Jammu region saw the rise of six seats and one more seat was allocated for the Kashmir valley. At the individual level, a few people may be unsatisfied, but the majority is happy. It is better to have elected representatives who can raise people centric issues and I hope elections do happen soon to elect people’s representatives.” The Sunday Guardian also tried to contact the Jammu and Kashmir chief electoral officer, but no response was received at the time of going to press. As per the delimitation commission, the region of Jammu and Kashmir will have five parliamentary constituencies made up of equal number of assembly constituencies numbering 18. Nine Assembly seats have been reserved for Scheduled Tribes (ST). Of the total 90 Assembly constituencies, 47 will be part of Kashmir valley while the Jammu region will have 43 seats. The commission had treated the whole of Jammu and Kashmir as a single entity. The number of total Assembly seats in Jammu region has risen from 37 to 43 Assembly seats. The delimitation commission not only took the census of 2011 as the basis of delimitation, but also took into account the grievances and aspirations of various sections of the society and multiple other factors like topography etc.
The former state of Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated in August 2019 to make Ladakh a Union Territory and make J&K a Union Territory with Legislative Assembly after the government of India passed a resolution to amend provisions of Article 370. The region has had no elected government since the last four years. The abrogation of Article 370 created a major uproar in the country with many opposition parties criticizing the government and Pakistan also tried to raise the issue in multiple international forums, including the United Nations.