SRINAGAR: The state election office is ready to hold simultaneous polls for Parliament and state assembly in Jammu and Kashmir, whenever orders from Election Commission of India (ECI) come in this regard, Chief Electoral Officer J&K Shailendra Kumar told Kashmir Reader on Friday.
“Dates for the elections are fixed by the ECI, and if it would order JK to hold the polls simultaneously, we are ready for that,” Kumar said.
On Friday Kumar held a marathon meeting with all political parties to discuss holding of assembly elections in the state. Kumar said that all the political parties were of the view that parliamentary and assembly elections should be held simultaneously.
“All the political parties were of the view that elections should be held soon and together. I will communicate the same to the ECI, and will follow their orders,” Kumar said.
He said that a team of the Election Commission of India will visit the state soon to discuss the situation with political leaders and other stakeholders for holding the elections.
National Conference (NC) General Secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar told Kashmir Reader that his party is ready for simultaneous parliamentary and assembly elections in the state. CPI(M) General Seceretary Muhammad Yousif Targami also told Kashmir Reader that the ECI should hold elections soon in the state.
J&K is under President’s rule after six months of Governor’s rule, which began after the BJP withdrew support from the PDP in June last year.
Kumar informed in his meeting with political parties that more than three lakh new voters have been added to the voters’ list in Jammu and Kashmir. He said that many as 3,07,813 additions, 1,25,834 deletions, 94,565 corrections and 14,989 transpositions have been made in the latest voters’ list.
The process of addition of any left-out eligible electors shall continue as part of continuous updation process till 31st January, he said.
Kumar urged political leaders to make use of on-line facilities being offered by the Election Commission of India through online portal NVSP (http://www.nvsp.in), which can be accessed for enrolment as well as verifying/rectifying particulars of an already enrolled voter.
Sharing the progress on Special Summary Revision (SSR) 2019 for which the final publication date was 1st January 2019, Kumar said the exercise was launched on 1st of September, 2018, but the date was extended by the Election Commission of India for J&K state along with some other states till 31st January, 2019.
Briefing about functioning of EVMs, the CEO informed that now the Election Commission has added another component called VVPATs which shall be available at each and every polling station to further enhance the confidence of voters.
He informed that the Election Commission has allocated 17,000 additional EVMs with VVPAT facilities to the state for use in the coming elections. He said as and when the machines will reach different district headquarters, the concerned District Election Officers (Deputy Commissioners) will inform the political parties to inspect these machines and after their proper satisfaction the same will be stored in designated strong rooms under proper security.
The CEO urged the political leaders to appoint their Booth Level Agents (BLAs) on priority to help the Booth Level Officers (BLOs) in ensuring right particulars of new voters and alterations in the voter lists. He said the district election authorities will organise training programmes for political workers and BLAs on use of EVMs and other election-related activities. He also informed that after publication, the new Electoral Rolls will be made available to all the parties for their information and further use.
Political leaders present at the meeting asked for setting up of polling stations as per the convenience of people and special arrangements for physically challenged, senior citizens and women at polling stations.
-With inputs from Information Dept