Election Commission Signals Imminent J&K Polls, Invites Symbol Applications

Election Commission Signals Imminent J&K Polls, Invites Symbol Applications

The assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir will be held for the first time since the Abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019.

The Election Commission of India on Friday invited applications seeking allotment of ‘common symbols’ from registered unrecognised parties in Jammu and Kashmir, hinting that the assembly polls in the union territory for the first time after the Abrogation of Article 370 are imminent.

According to the poll body’s statement, they have decided to seek the allotment of the symbols under Para 10B of the Election Symbols (Reservation & Allotment) Order, 1968, with “immediate effect”.

Notably, while the recognised national and state parties have their ‘reserved symbols’, registered unrecognised parties have to apply for them to field candidates in the election. Under the Election Symbols order, any registered unrecognised political party can apply for a ‘common symbol’ six months prior to the end of the term of a House. However, since there is no functional assembly in Jammu and Kashmir yet, the EC is inviting applications.

When is the assembly election in Jammu and Kashmir?

The date for the assembly polls has not yet been declared. However, in December last year, the Supreme Court had directed the poll panel to hold the assembly election in Jammu and Kashmir by September 30. While there were speculations of the election being held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls, the EC had said that it was “not practical” due to “logical and security” reasons.

Meanwhile, chief election commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar, earlier this week, said that the panel will begin the election process in the union territory “very soon”.

“We will very soon start the poll process in Jammu and Kashmir, we are very enthused by voter turnout…Jammu and Kashmir recorded the highest turnout in four decades at 58.58 per cent overall, and 51.05 per cent in the valley,” he said.

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