April 2019 News

EC To Take Final Call On J&K Assembly Polls On April 30

26 April 2019
Greater Kashmir
Umer Maqbool

Srinagar: The Election Commission (EC) is likely to take a final call on holding of Assembly elections in Jammu & Kashmir next week. A source told Greater Kashmir that the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sunil Chandra would meet in New Delhi on 30 April to discuss the possible dates of Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir, which is presently under President's rule. The team of state government officials comprising Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, Director General of Police, Dilbag Singh, and Home Secretary, Shaleen Kabra, met the Commission in New Delhi on Friday. The officials, according to the source, favoured holding of the elections towards end of this year, citing the upcoming holy month of Ramadan, Amarnath yatra, tourist season, ongoing academic calendar and movement of Bakerwals as the main reasons to seek postponement. 'The state government representatives suggested that Assembly polls should be held in November and not in June,' the source added. He disclosed that EC has asked the state government to submit reasons in writing for seeking polls in November. 'There are bleak chances of elections being held in June-July,' the source said. A senior official said that delay in elections would pave the way for extension of President's rule in the state. 'The current spell of President's rule would end on 19 June. So the Centre would need to extend it by six more months,' he said. The Jammu and Kashmir came under the President's rule on 20 December last year after six-month Governor rule came to an end. The official said ratification of President's rule has to be done by both Houses of Parliament within two months of its extension. 'It means that Parliament would have to approve the resolution for extending President's rule in the state before 20 August, 2019. In case Lok Sabha is dissolved, then the resolution has to be approved by Rajya Sabha and thereafter by Lok Sabha within 30 days of its constitution,' he added. As per Supreme Court ruling, the ECI has to take steps for holding elections in any state within six months in case of premature dissolution of the Assembly. In case of J&K, the deadline ends on 20 May as the State Assembly was dissolved on 21 November, 2018 after PDP and PC staked separate claims to form the government in the state.