Jammu and KashmirNews

Assembly Elections in J&K likely before 2022 Amarnath Yatra

Srinagar: With the assembly elections likely to be held by May-June next year, various political parties in Jammu and Kashmir have started increasing their footfall on the ground for the first time after August 5, 2019, when article 370 was scrapped.

Quoting sources, IANS reported on Saturday that the delimitation commission has completed its draft report of new and re-alignment of some old assembly seats in J&K.

The commission is headed by retired Supreme Court judge Ranjana Desai.

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The draft report is ready. It will now be shared with the associate members, including three Lok Sabha members from the National Conference (Farooq Abdullah, Hasnain Masoodi and Akbar Lone) and the BJP’s Jitendra Singh and Jugal Kishore Sharma”, top sources said adding that the commission has already been communicated that there would be no further extension of its time period which ends in March 2022.

All major political players including leaders of the National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Indian National Congress (INC), J&K National Panthers Party (JKNPP), J&K Apni Party, Peoples Conference (PC) and other smaller groups have started public interactions through meetings and rallies.

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Close on the heels of PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti’s visit to the Chenab Valley, NC Vice President, Omar Abdullah began his visit to the region on Saturday.

The BJP has already told its party cadre that the assembly elections would not be deferred further and these are being held next year before the annual Amarnath Yatra which begins in the last week of June each year, but was called off due to the pandemic this year.

Sources close to the senior leaders of NC, BJP, PDP, Congress and others indicate that none of these parties believes that it could get the majority in the new assembly of its own.

“Whatever the senior leaders of these parties say in public or to the media, the fact is that none of them believes to get an absolute majority on its own”, said a former bureaucrat believed to be close to the NC.

After the fresh delimitation, the assembly is likely to have 90 seats. In the previous assembly there were 87 seats, four of which belonged to the Ladakh region which is a separate UT now.

The Valley had 47 and the Jammu region had 36 seats. Sources indicate that at least 6 seats would be added to the Jammu region and 2 new assembly constituencies would be carved out of the existing ones in the Valley.

In addition to this, assembly constituencies would be reserved in J&K for tribals, scheduled caste etc which is likely to throw up a different political map for the UT.

In the last state assembly, PDP had 28, BJP 25, NC 15 and the INC 12 seats.

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