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First high-level review of Lok Sabha elections in J&K on Dec 1

First high-level review of Lok Sabha elections in J&K on Dec 1

All 20 DCs, SSPs to join meeting virtually

Voters for Parl polls may touch 9 millions

Jammu, Nov 29: First high-level review of arrangements for the Lok Sabha elections scheduled to be held in April-May next year will be held on December 1 with Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) PK Pole interacting virtually with all 20 Deputy Commissioners and SSPs of Jammu and Kashmir with focus on requirements of EVMs, VVPATs, appointment of Nodal Officers, their training etc and security requirements.

The Special Summary Revision of Jammu and Kashmir is also in the final stage and number of electorates is expected to be around nine millions for five seats of Lok Sabha, officials told the Excelsior, saying that final rolls are likely to be published on January 8, 2024.

This will be first high-level review of arrangements for Lok Sabha elections by the CEO in which senior officers of his office and all 20 Deputy Commissioners, who act as District Elections Officers, and SSPs, responsible for security arrangements of the candidates and polling booths, will join virtually.

“All issues pertaining to the Lok Sabha elections will be discussed in the meeting,’’ the officials said, adding that the Deputy Commissioners and SSPs are likely to project their requirements pertaining to staff, security personnel etc.

Jammu and Kashmir has five Parliamentary seats including Jammu-Rajouri, Udhampur-Doda, Srinagar-Budgam, Baramulla-Kupwara and South Kashmir-Poonch. Presently, three seats are held by the National Conference and two by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Elections in J&K are likely to be held in five phases with one Lok Sabha seat each going to polls in one phase. This is done to rotate security forces from one Lok Sabha seat to another as the Central Government, mainly the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, is not in a position to provide additional forces as Parliamentary polls are held across the country. However, some companies of paramilitary forces may be given to Jammu and Kashmir to ensure peaceful polling.

Officials said electorates of Jammu and Kashmir could be around nine million for Lok Sabha elections though exact figure will be known on January 8 when final electoral rolls will be published after completion of Special Summary Revision ordered by the Election Commission of India.

“Requirements of total number of EVMs, VVPATs etc are likely to be discussed at the meeting besides appointment of Nodal Officers, training of staff etc,’’ they added and said sufficient number of such machines are available while more can be given by the Election Commission depending on number of polling stations to be set up for Lok Sabha polls.

As per the officials, numbers of the polling booths will be finalized in consultations with the District Election Officers after some time.

Number of electorates in Jammu and Kashmir had gone up to 83.59 lakh when Special Summary Revision was carried out and final electoral rolls were published on November 25 last year. The numbers further went up to 8.5 million when the Special Summary Revision was undertaken by the Election Commission this year and final rolls were published on May 27.

The delimitation exercise concluded on May 5, 2022 by the Panel when it unveiled the final electoral map of J&K. Jammu & Kashmir is without an elected Government for almost five and half year years now.

In the Special Summary Revision undertaken after Delimitation exercise, final rolls were published on November 25, 2022. In second Special Summary Revision, final rolls were published on May 27, 2023.

The erstwhile State is under the Central rule from June 19, 2018 when BJP withdrew support to Mehbooba Mufti-led Government, citing “deteriorating security situation” in J&K.–(Agencies)

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