Lok Sabha, J-K assembly elections together

After J-K governor, Satya Pal Malik’s decision to dissolve the state assembly, the Election Commission is likely to club the assembly polls with the Lok Sabha elections due next year, reported PTI.

The state assembly was dissolved by 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”.

According to the reports, mentioning a Supreme Court direction, the sources said that 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.

Malik dissolved the assembly shortly after People’s Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti counter-staked Sajad Lone’s claim to form a government with the support of the National Conference and the Congress. She cited a collective strength of 56 MLAs in the 87-member House.

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.

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