New Delhi: Setting in motion the process of holding assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir, the Election Commission has initiated the revision of electoral rolls following the delimitation exercise in the Union Territory and the draft rolls will be prepared by August 31, sources said on Wednesday.
Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey carried out a review and directed the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Electoral Officer to map the redrawn assembly constituencies.
The electoral roll revision needs to be carried out before the first assembly election is conducted in the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Officials said that intensive and time-bound pre-revision activities are required due to the redrawing of electoral constituencies. Directions have also been given for the appointment of officials for the work on updating voter list.
Re-serialisation, mapping and renaming of polling stations post the delimitation will be done by June 30, in addition to the identification of polling stations for those villages where new booths need to be created.
After the delimitation, some of the earlier polling stations may come under more than one new constituency or may be completely shifted to another constituency. The polling stations will be mapped accordingly.
The appointment of booth level officers and their proper training will be done by July 5. Verification and rationalisation of polling booths will be done by July 25. Finally, the draft rolls need to be prepared by August 31, sources said.
During the revision exercise, citizens would be given opportunities to enrol, delete and change their particulars in the electoral rolls.
Last month, 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 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 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 as a separate union territory without a legislature.
The three-member delimitation panel was headed by Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, a retired judge of the Supreme Court. Then Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra (now retired) and Jammu and Kashmir Election Commissioner K K Sharma were its two ex-officio members.
Five Jammu and Kashmir Lok Sabha members -- three from the National Conference and two from the BJP -- were associate members of the commission. The panel submitted its final report on May 5, just a day before its two-year tenure was to end.