Election Commission of India
Election Commission of IndiaIANS

The prediction of the former Chief Minister Dr. Farooq Abdullah followed by the reports of the visit of the team of the Election Commission of India rekindled a ray of hope among political parties of simultaneous Assembly and Parliamentary elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

On Wednesday Dr. Farooq Abdullah predicted that assembly elections in J&K will be held with general elections.

"I think both Assembly and Parliamentary elections will happen together", Dr. Farooq Abdullah predicted when his reaction was sought about a delay in holding maiden assembly elections in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

A day after Farooq Abdullah's prediction, reports were published in a section of the media regarding the visit of the full Election Commission of India.

Omar Abdullah
Omar Abdullah interacting with media persons at SrinagarNC media cell

The proposed visit of the full team of the Election Commission of India during the second week of March has fueled rumours of simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

A BJP faction also favours assembly polls with Lok Sabha elections

Although top officials are tightlipped over the timing of the assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, a group within the BJP is advocating that Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir must be held with the Lok Sabha elections to reap the political benefits of the prevailing wave in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Sources said that the central leadership of the BJP is also thinking about holding maiden assembly elections in the UT of J&K with the general elections because party leadership is hopeful of getting votes of the Pahari ethnic group in the elections.

Sources said that during the last session of the Parliament BJP-led NDA government has passed all important bills related to the J&K and now party leadership is thinking that it is high time to go for assembly polls.

Supreme Court.
Supreme Court.IANS

SC already directed the Centre to hold assembly polls in J&K

While delivering the historic verdict on Article 370 and 35-A in December 2023, the Supreme Court of India had asked the central government to hold elections in Jammu and Kashmir by 30 September 2024 and restore statehood at the earliest.

"We direct that steps shall be taken by the Election Commission of India to conduct elections to the Legislative Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir by 30 September 2024,", the Court said while reading the judgment in Article 370 matter.

Important to mention here that according to unconfirmed reports, the full-Election Commission of India (ECI) is likely to visit the Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory on March 12 and 13.

Reports said that the Election Commission of India comprising the Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners would visit J&K, likely on March 12 and 13, to review preparedness for Lok Sabha polls to be held in April and May.

Jammu and Kashmir is without an elected government since June 2018 when BJP dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) followed by the resignation of the then Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.

Five months later, on November 28, 2018, then Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik dissolved the legislative assembly minutes after Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP staked a claim to form the government with the support of Congress and the National Conference.

A month later on December 19, 2018, then President Ram Nath Kovind issued a proclamation promulgating President's Rule in J&K under article 356 of the Constitution of India.

Eight months later on August 5, 2019, the BJP government abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Preparations are in full swing for Lok Sabha elections in J&K

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Jammu and Kashmir Pandurang K Pole said that election preparations in the Union Territory are in full swing.
He said that the administration is imparting election-related training to all stakeholders including the Police, CRPF, media persons, political parties, and others ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.