J&K poll unlikely in 2022 as electoral roll only by November-end

The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Jammu and Kashmir has informed that the final publication of the reviewed electoral rolls in the Union Territory would be done on November 25, which has further delayed the possibility of conducting assembly elections this year.

The CEO has urged youngsters who attain 18 years of age on October 1, 2022 or earlier to enroll themselves in the voters list in J&K. “We have user-friendly forms for voter registration and a single form-8 has been devised for correction of entries,” the CEO stated in an order issued here. The officials stated that the draft roll would be published on September 15 and the claims and objections are to be filed between September 15 and October 25.

“In continuation to its earlier notification, the Election Commission of India further notifies the schedule of special summary revision with reference to October 1, 2022 as the qualifying date in J&K,” read the official notice.

Political parties in Kashmir maintained that the government of India was not serious about conducting assembly elections in J&K this year. They alleged that the central government was ruling the union territory by proxy.

“The fresh order of the election commission clearly indicates that the GoI isn’t serious about holding elections this year and wants to continue with this system. They don’t want a popular government to come to power and want to continuously punish people.” said Abdul Gani Vakil, former minister and senior People’s Conference leader.

CPM leader and spokesperson of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, Muhammad Yusuf Tarigami said the Government of India seems to be in deep slumber when it comes to the plight of people of J&K. “The central government is exaggerating on the recent panchayat and DDC elections in J&K but when it comes to the assembly elections here, they get nervous which is beyond our understanding,” he said.

The government in a recent reply to a question on the decision to schedule elections, said it is the prerogative of the Election Commission of India. Some political leaders were informally conveyed that the elections could happen after October this year, while others were given a schedule of March 2023. Union Home Minister Amit Shah in February this year had said that elections in J&K would happen within six to eight months.

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