Srinagar, Jun 30: Indicating that assembly elections in Jammu & Kashmir could be held later this year or earlier next year, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has ordered a special summary revision of electoral rolls in the Union Territory after a gap of three years.
In a significant move, the poll-body has ordered revision of electoral rolls in Jammu & Kashmir for the first time after August 5, 2019 constitutional changes.
The schedule of revision of electoral roll has been communicated to Jammu and Kashmir’s chief electoral officer on Tuesday.
As per ECI’s letter to the CEO, the special summary revision would begin immediately after culmination of pre-revision activities on August 31, 2022.
The revision exercise would commence on September 1, 2022 and conclude on October 31, 2022.
As per the poll-body, the integrated draft electoral roll would be published on September 1, 2022 and claims/objections can be filed from September 1, 2022 to September 30, 2022.
The claims/objections will be disposed by October 15, the commission said.
It further said the CEO will obtain permission of the Commission for publication of final electoral roll by October 25. The final electoral roll would be published by October 31.
As per the poll-body, all those who will attain age of 18 years on October 1, 2022 can register themselves as voters as it has been notified as qualifying date for the exercise.
“Consequent upon amendment in Section 14 of the Representation of the People Act by Election Laws (Amendment) Act, 2021, as notified vide the Gazette of India notification No. 67, dated 30 December 2021 and corresponding changes in the Registration of Electors Rule, 1960 notified on 17th June, 2022, four qualifying dates, namely, 1 January, 1 April, 1 July, and 1 October are available in the law. In view of the reason explained in the preceding paragraph, the Commission has decided to order SSR, 2022 with respect to 01 October, 2022 which is the next qualifying date for preparation of electoral roll, after conclusion of the ongoing pre-revision activities,” reads the letter to CEO.
The pre-revision activities would conclude on August 31, 2022.
Since 2019, Jammu & Kashmir was excluded from special summary revision of electoral carried out annually by the Commission.
J&K was not part of special summary revision-2020, SSR-2021, SSR-2022 carried out by the poll-body in states and UTs.
In the letter, the ECI has directed that district election officers and chief electoral officer shall separately call meetings of political parties and explain the schedule and seek cooperation expected of them before the date of draft publication.
“The CEO should write to all recognized national and state level political parties informing them the important points of the law and procedures of the revision and seek their cooperation in the roll revision exercise,” the letter states.
The ECI has ordered revision of voters after a three-member delimitation commission unveiled a new electoral map of J&K.
On May 05, the delimitation panel came up with its final order, allotting 47 seats to Kashmir and 43 seats to Jammu region.