Srinagar: Setting the ball rolling for Assembly Elections, the Election Commission of India has begun the process of electoral rolls revision in Jammu and Kashmir.
In an order issued, the Election Commission has directed a special summary revision (SSR) of photo electoral rolls with October 1, 2022, as the qualifying date in Jammu and Kashmir.
The pre-revision activities will culminate on August 30. Accordingly, the EC has directed J&K Chief Electoral Officer Hirdesh Kumar to complete the SSR of the electoral rolls by the end of October.
“Consequent upon amendment in Section 14 of the Representation of the People Act by Election Laws (Amendment) Act, 2021, as notified vide the Gazette of India notification No. 67, dated 30 December 2021 and corresponding changes in the Registration of Electors Rule, 1960 notified on 17th June 2022, four qualifying dates, namely, 1" January, 1" April, 1 July, and 1 October are available in the law. Given the reason explained in the preceding paragraph, the Commission has decided to order SSR, 2022 concerning 01 October 2022 which is the next qualifying date for the preparation of the electoral roll, after the conclusion of the ongoing pre-revision activities,” reads the letter to CEO.
As the revision of electoral rolls was not conducted for the last three years in Jammu and Kashmir, newly eligible electors could not get themselves registered in the electoral roll, the order says.
“Given the same, to update electoral roll based on newly delimited constituencies, so that all newly eligible young electors can have the opportunity to get themselves enrolled, the exercise of Special Summary Revision concerning the next qualifying date is required to be undertaken without further delay. In the above context, the commission has started pre-revision activities in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir…,” the order reads.
The EC has set October 31 as the final date for publication of the revised electoral rolls. The letter says that the publication of integrated draft electoral rolls would be conducted on September 1 while the claims and objections can be filed within a month up to September 30. It says that the claims would be disposed of by October 15.
Earlier, the Election Commission appointed district election officers (DEOs), electoral registration officers (EROs) and assistant electoral registration officers (AEROs) before the unveiling of the schedule for the revision of electoral rolls.
The Election Commission of India has issued separate notifications for the appointment of DEOs, EROs, EROs, and AEROs in the Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory under “The Representation of Peoples Act-1950”.
As per the notification of ECI, all 20 deputy commissioners have been designated as DEOs. The commission has also specified the constituencies over which the DEOs shall exercise jurisdiction.
In another notification, the poll body has appointed 90 officers as electoral registration officers for 90 Assembly segments of Jammu & Kashmir.
It has also appointed 243 officers as assistant electoral registration officers to assist EROs of 90 assembly segments.
The commission has also appointed two officers as AEROs for the cantonment areas of Srinagar and Jammu.
The central government had issued a notification saying that the orders of the Delimitation Commission which redrew electoral constituencies and provided six additional assembly seats to the Jammu division and one to Kashmir would come into effect from May 20. According to the orders of the Delimitation Commission, set up under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act of 2019, the union territory will have 90 assembly constituencies -- 43 in the Jammu Division and 47 in Kashmir -- with nine of them being reserved for the Scheduled Tribes.
The erstwhile legislative assembly had 87 seats -- 46 in Kashmir, 37 in Jammu and four in Ladakh. In the reorganisation of the erstwhile state, Ladakh was declared a separate union territory without a legislature.