After the declaration of the results of the Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat polls, the demand for holding the maiden assembly elections in J&K gained momentum. Former Chief Minister and veteran leader Ghulam Nabi Azad is the first among politicians who raised the demand of holding assembly elections in J&K.
"There is no reason to further delay assembly elections in J&K," Azad told reporters at north Kashmir's Kupwara district after addressing a rally.
"Law and order situation has improved considerably. After the improvement in the weather assembly elections should be held within six months because people can not wait till 2024", he said.
He said holding of the elections was important to take Jammu and Kashmir out of the economic and political crisis.
"We do not want to wait for 2024. We have been waiting for change for the last so many years," Azad said.
The former Congress leader said there was no need to dissolve the Jammu and Kashmir assembly in 2018. But after it was done, the elections should have followed in six months, he added.
"When it was done, there was no terrorism in the state, there was no tension, and the elections should have taken place within six months. However, almost five years have gone by since then, and many unthinkable things happened," Azad said.
Things like the abrogation of Article 370, and downgrading of such an old state and its division, which were unthinkable, took place, he added.
Special summary revision of the electoral rolls already completed
Notably, the Election Commission of India on November 25 completed the exercise of revising the existing electoral rolls by incorporating youngsters who have attained the age of 18 years on October 1 or earlier in the new voter lists.
The final electoral rolls have a total of 83,59,771 electors, out of which 42,91,687 are male, 184 are the third gender and 40,67,900 are females. The elector population ratio has increased from 0.52 to 0.58 during this Special Summary Review (SSR). The gender ratio of the final electoral roll has increased from 921 to 948.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) had already set a new deadline of November 25 for the final date for publication of electoral rolls in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. To provide an opportunity to youngsters attaining the age of 18 years on October 1 or earlier, the deadline was extended from October 31 to November 25.
The completion of the exercise will pave the way for holding elections in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. This would be the first election in the UT after the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile state of J&K into two Union Territories by the BJP-led NDA government in August 2019.
After the completion of the delimitation exercise in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the Election Commission of India ordered pre-revision activities in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir on 10th June 2022, which primarily included the task of mapping the existing electoral rolls of 83 pre-delimitation constituencies to the post-delimitation 90 Constituencies, in accordance with the Delimitation Commission's Order, rationalization of polling stations and integrations of the electoral rolls.