New Delhi: The Election Commission, which has to hold fresh assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir before May 21 next, is likely to club it with the Lok Sabha elections due next year, highly-placed sources in the poll panel said Thursday.
The state assembly was dissolved by Governor Satya Pal Malik on November 21 citing the “impossibility of forming a stable government by the coming together of political parties with opposing political ideologies” and the “fragile security scenario in the state”.
Mentioning a Supreme Court direction, the sources said the “outer limit” for holding fresh polls after the dissolution of a house is six months, that is May 21 next year.
They also said that the apex court has made it clear that the poll panel should hold elections in the first available opportunity.
“It is likely that they could be clubbed with Lok Sabha polls,” they said.
The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly has a six-year term while other assemblies and the Lok Sabha have a five-year term.
Its term was to end on March 16, 2021.
The sources in the government, meanwhile, pointed out that when security forces are deployed for the Lok Sabha polls in the state, it would be convenient for election authorities to hold the assembly polls simultaneously.
Since last year, the EC has not been able to hold bypoll to Anantnag Lok Sabha seat citing law and order situation and lack of central forces.