Preparations for holding assembly elections in J&K underway

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Srinagar: The election machinery is gearing up for the conduct of assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir as the first-level checking (FLC) of EVMs and VVPATs will be held at a workshop here later this month, officials said on Sunday.

They said deputy commissioners of all ten districts of the Valley and a team of the Election Commission of India (ECI) will participate in the workshop.

"The preparations for the assembly elections are underway. However, the final dates for the conduct of the polls will be decided by the ECI," an official said.

Jammu and Kashmir has been without an assembly since November 2018 when the then legislative assembly was dissolved by then governor Satya Pal Malik after the PDP-BJP coalition government fell apart earlier that year.

The Centre as well as the Lieutenant Governor administration here have been saying that the assembly elections in the UT would be conducted after the process of delimitation and electoral revision is completed.

The delimitation of constituencies was completed earlier this year and the Election Commission began the process of electoral rolls revision in the union territory last month -- an exercise taking place after a gap of three years and for the first time since the abrogation of J&K's special status in August 2019.

The officials said there are indications that polls could be held in the UT after the electoral rolls revision is completed.

They said the preparations for the polls were in full swing.

The delimitation has been completed. The electoral rolls revision is on and is likely to be completed soon. The EC has set October 31 as the final date for publication of the revised electoral rolls, the official said. The process of rationalisation of polling stations was also going on and is likely to be completed by the end of this month.

Some of the deputy commissioners who are designated as district election officers have released list of draft polling stations after rationalisation, while others are in the process of doing so, the official said.

The rationalisation of polling stations was necessitated because of the creation of seven new assembly constituencies as well as change in boundaries of many constituencies following fresh delimitation.

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