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After three years, EC begins revision of electoral rolls in Jammu and Kashmir

Electoral Rolls

The Election Commission (EC) has begun the method of electoral rolls revision in Jammu and Kashmir after a niche of three years, in a sign that polls might be held within the Valley submit its delimitation train.

In an order issued on Wednesday, the Election Commission has directed particular summary revision (SSR) of photograph electoral rolls with October 1, 2022 because the qualifying date in Jammu and Kashmir. The pre-revision actions will culminate on August 30. Accordingly, the EC has directed J&Okay Chief Electoral Officer Hirdesh Kumar to finish the SSR of the electoral rolls by the top of October.

The EC order comes days after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh mentioned that Assembly elections within the Union Territory could also be held by the top of the yr.

The revision of electoral rolls is critical because the train is being carried out for the primary time for the reason that abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s particular standing. Before the abrogation, solely the everlasting residents of Jammu and Kashmir, popularly often called state topics, have been eligible to vote. The summary revision would additionally enable, for the primary time, the displaced individuals of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) to use for voting rights within the Assembly elections. In the previous, they have been allowed to vote within the parliamentary elections however not within the Assembly elections.

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The order factors out that as per current coverage, revision of electoral rolls just about January 1 of the approaching yr because the qualifying date is finished within the later a part of every year in all states or Union Territories. This ensures that ultimate publication of the electoral rolls might be carried out within the first week of January of the succeeding yr, the order says.

“However, due to various administrative reasons, this annual revision of electoral roll could not be undertaken in Jammu and Kashmir after SSR, 2019,” the order reads. In the meantime, the delimitation train of constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir was in progress and the ultimate delimited constituencies have been notified on May 5, it provides.

As the revision of electoral rolls was not performed for the final three years in Jammu and Kashmir, newly eligible electors couldn’t get themselves registered within the electoral roll, the order says. “In view of the same, in order to update electoral roll on the basis of newly delimited constituencies, so that all newly eligible young electors can have the opportunity to get themselves enrolled, the exercise of Special Summary Revision with reference to the next qualifying date is required to be undertaken without further delay. In the above context, the commission has started pre-revision activities in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir…,” the order says.

The EC has set October 31 as the ultimate date for publication of the revised electoral rolls. The letter says that the publication of built-in draft electoral rolls can be performed on September 1 whereas the claims and objections might be filed inside a month as much as September 30. It says that the claims can be disposed of by October 15.

The fee has set September 25 because the date for checking of well being parameters and acquiring EC’s permission for ultimate publication of the electoral rolls and updating of database and printing of dietary supplements. The ultimate publication of the revised electoral rolls can be performed on October 31.

The letter says that whereas a area has been saved for furnishing of Aadhaar quantity within the registration kind, “no application for inclusion of name in electoral roll shall be denied and no entries in electoral roll shall be deleted for inability of an individual to furnish or intimate Aadhaar number”.

Last month, finalising its order for Jammu and Kashmir, the Delimitation Commission beneficial seven further constituencies – six for Jammu and one for Kashmir – taking the full variety of seats within the UT to 90 from 83 earlier. This will improve the variety of seats within the Jammu Division to 43 from 37 seats earlier, and that within the Kashmir Valley to 47 from 46 earlier.

The panel’s choices have been politically vital and have met with criticism amongst mainstream events within the Valley since then. The Jammu area has bought extra seats relative to its inhabitants in contrast with the Kashmir Valley, and this violates the inhabitants criterion, these events have contended. The award of seats based mostly on the 2011 census has meant that Jammu with 44 per cent inhabitants will get 48 per cent share in seats, whereas Kashmir with 56 per cent of inhabitants will get solely 52 per cent share in seats. Earlier, the Kashmir area had 55.four per cent share in seats and Jammu 44.5 per cent share in seats.

The Election Commission additionally held its first assembly on conducting Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir final month, proper after Rajiv Kumar took over because the Chief Election Commissioner. Kumar chaired a gathering with J&Okay chief electoral officer Hirdesh Kumar and senior officers of Nirvachan Sadan on May 23.

“Consequent upon amendment in Section 14 of the Representation of the People Act by Election Laws (Amendment) Act, 2021…and corresponding changes in the Registration of Electors Rule, 1960 as notified on 17 June, 2022, four qualifying dates, namely, January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1 are available in the law,” the order says, including that “…the commission has decided to order SSR, 2022 with respect to October 1, 2022 which is the next qualifying date for preparation of electoral roll, after conclusion of the ongoing pre-revision activities”.

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