The Election Commission Tuesday said it will announce the dates for Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections after the Amarnath yatra ends in August. The poll panel said it has unanimously decided that “holding of assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir shall be considered later in this year”.
“The Commission will keep on regularly, and on real time basis, monitoring the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, taking inputs from all necessary quarters and after the conclusion of Amarnath Yatra will announce the election schedule for the conduct of assembly election in Jammu and Kashmir,” a statement from the EC said.
The 46-day-long Amarnath yatra will begin on July 1, the day of Masik Shivratri, and would conclude on August 15, the day of Shravan Purnima.
On account of security issues, simultaneous assembly elections were not held along with the six J&K Lok Sabha seats that went to polls in April. In March, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora had cited the prevailing security situation in J&K, shortage of central forces and other logistical issues for deciding against holding the elections.
J&K voted in five phases in the recently concluded general elections. Polling in Anantnag Lok Sabha seat alone was held in three phases. The polling exercise was large peacefully in the state although the voter turnout was low.
The state has been under President’s rule since December last year. It was previously under the Governor’s rule for six months after the Mehbooba Mufti-led coalition government was reduced to minority following the withdrawal of support by the BJP.