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Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir will be held after Lok Sabha polls: CEC Rajiv Kumar

Kumar further said that the ECI will immediately conduct elections in JK within the limited time frame and it is considering "seriously" to conduct the elections after the Lok Sabha polls

Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir will be held after Lok Sabha polls: CEC Rajiv Kumar
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Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar (Image/ANI)

NEW DELHI: Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar on Saturday said that the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly polls will be held after the Lok Sabha elections. In an interview with ANI, CEC Kumar said, "We are yet to hold assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir. I mentioned in the press conference earlier today that the way for conducting legal elections has opened since December 23. This is March, and there is snowfall in the region, hence the question of holding elections does not arise at this point."

"We (ECI) went to Jammu and Kashmir and were asked by all the political parties there to hold the state assembly elections with the Lok Sabha polls. After that, we held administrative meetings wherein it was discussed that a lot of security forces would be required to conduct state assembly election with Lok Sabha election in J-K," he said. "All political parties asked the ECI to conduct an assembly election with Lok Sabha polls, but security agencies advised us that it would not be possible to provide security as there was a need for the deployment of huge security forces. But we are seriously thinking of conducting polls in JK after the Lok Sabha polls. JK will be the first state to go in the election after the Lok Sabha polls," he said.

Kumar further said that the ECI will immediately conduct elections in JK within the limited time frame and it is considering "seriously" to conduct the elections after the Lok Sabha polls. CEC Kumar spoke about the high-level committee examining One Nation, One Election and said that the ECI will conduct elections as per the constitutional provisions.

"There is a provision in the Constitution for conducting elections. Article 83(2) of the Constitution of India states that the House of the People will continue for five years from the date of its first meeting. There is a clause in Section 14 of the RP Act, 1951 that elections for the Parliament be must held six months before the end of the Assembly. As long as this article is there in the Constitution and there are provisions for People's Representation and People's Act, our job is to conduct elections according to them," Kumar said.

The High-Level Committee on 'One Nation One Election' chaired by former President Ram Nath Kovind met President Droupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhavan and submitted its report on March 14. When asked if there was a message for the political parties ahead of polls, CEC Kumar said, "To spread the word in the best possible way, carry out healthy and clean elections, do ethical campaigning. Best wishes to everyone. We will provide them with a level playing field, this is what we do. State governments must be behavior-neutral because the job of the administration and election machinery is to remain the same for everyone."

The Election Commission of India (ECI) announced the dates for Lok Sabha and four state Assembly elections. The general election for 543 Lok Sabha seats will be held in seven phases from April 19, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar announced on Saturday.

The counting will be held on June 4. Nearly 97 crore voters will be eligible to vote for 543 Lok Sabha constituencies across the country. With the announcement of dates, the moral code of conduct comes into force immediately.

ANI
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