Jammu and Kashmir Elections to be Held on Time

Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections will be held on schedule and will not be postponed, top sources said on Friday.

"In all likelihood the assembly elections will be held in December and not deferred to next year," the sources said ahead of the visit of the Chief Election Commissioner and two Commissioners here Saturday to take the final call on whether or not to hold elections.

The new government in the state has to be in place before Jan 19, 2015 when the six-year term of the present assembly ends.

Assembly elections have to be held in time so that putting the state under the governor’s rule is avoided.

Under the state constitution which applies concomitantly to Jammu and Kashmir in addition to the Indian constitution, there is provision of six-month long governor’s rule.

If an elected government is not in office beyond the period of the governor’s rule, the state can be put under the President’s rule as provided for by the country’s constitution.

"Besides some constituencies in South Kashmir districts and Srinagar city, the recent floods have not directly affected any other area in the Valley so badly.

"After taking a holistic view of the entire situation in the aftermath of the recent floods, the election commission is most likely to decide on holding the assembly elections on time this year," sources said.

Last Tuesday, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, after meeting Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi told media persons that the situation in the state was not conducive for holding Assembly elections due to the recent floods. In the midst of reports the Election Commission may hold assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir on time, Abdullah had warned that there will be "zero percentage turnout" in capital city Srinagar.

The full Election Commission comprising the Chief Commissioner, V. S. Sampath, and two commissioners, H.S.Brahma and Naseem Zaidi, will be here on a two-day visit. Sampath is slated to address a media conference in here Saturday afternoon.

(With inputs from IANS)

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