Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections probably by the end of 2019, according to Election Commission

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On Tuesday the Election Commission said it could hold Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir later on this year. The election body told that it will make known the date for the polls in Jammu and Kashmir after the Amarnath Yatra concludes.

Election Commission said in an official statement that Election Commission has collectively decided as per article 324 of the Constitution and other rules/laws etc. still in existence that conducting assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir will be taken into consideration later on this year.

The Amarnath yatra lasting 46 days will start on July 1, the Masik Shivratri day, and would end on August 15, the Shravan Purnima day.

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Jammu and Kashmir has been ruled by the Governor since June last year, subsequent to the Bharatiya Janata Party pulling out of coalition government with Mehbooba Mufti, leader of People’s Democratic Party.

As directed by the Constitution, the state came under the rule of the President on December 19, 2018. The period of the central rule concludes on June 19 which is considered to be extended.

According to the statement, the Commission will on a real-time basis and regularly continue to monitor the state of affairs in Jammu and Kashmir. It will take inputs from every necessary quarter and after concluding Amarnath Yatra will make known the election agenda for conducting the assembly election in Jammu and Kashmir.

In April, when the Jammu and Kashmir government representatives had met the Election Commission, they had shown their unwillingness of holding polls to the legislative assembly of state in the close future considering the current tourist season and the approaching Amarnath Yatra in the Valley that will start on July 1.

The Election Commission, during the meeting, had rejected what the Jammu and Kashmir officials asserted that the state of affairs in the state has to be evaluated before the assembly polls are conducted.

According to the commission, if the polls for Lok Sabha could be conducted, there must be no problem in conducting the state assembly elections.

The meeting in April between Election Commission top brass and Jammu and Kashmir officials had occurred days subsequent to the three special observers the Election Commission appointed put in their report on the likelihood of conducting assembly polls in the state following the polls for Lok Sabha.

The dates for the polls for Lok Sabha were made known on March 10. Then the decision was made by the poll panel against conducting assembly and parliamentary polls at the same time in the state.

The poll panel had mentioned that the state of affairs in Jammu and Kashmir was not favorable for conducting assembly polls. The polls for Lok Sabha were held generally peacefully in the state although the turnout of voters was low.

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