ECI calls for maximum enrollment of eligible voters in J-K

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The Election Commission of India (ECI) today reviewed the ongoing Special Summary Revision (SSR) of electoral rolls and related issues in Jammu and Kashmir at a meeting through video conferencing from New Delhi, reported Daily Excelsior.

The meeting lasted over two hours, official sources told Excelsior.

It was scheduled for 12 noon yesterday but was deferred by a few hours and started at 5 pm.

All senior officers from the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) and 20 Deputy Commissioners of Jammu and Kashmir, who have been designated as District Election Officers (DEOs), attended the meeting, which was chaired by Dharmendra Sharma, Senior Deputy Election Commissioner in the Election Commission of India.

The meeting reviewed ongoing Special Summary Revision and Photo Electoral Rolls with reference to 1 October 2022 as the qualifying date.

The Election Commission of India officials took feedback from the District Election Officers on the latest status of Special Summary Revision and the problems, if any, faced by them.

The District Election Officers are reported to have raised a number of queries pertaining to the Special Summary Revision during the meeting which were replied to by the ECI officials, sources told Excelsior.

Sources said the major focus remained on Special Summary Revision especially the enrolment of new voters so that the youths who are eligible to become voters are not left out.
More such meetings are likely to be held in the future before the publication of the final electoral rolls in Jammu and Kashmir.

The final electoral rolls of Jammu and Kashmir are scheduled to be published on 25 November, as per the schedule notified by the Election Commission of India as well as the Chief Electoral Officer, J-K.

The Integrated Draft Electoral Rolls were published on 25 September by all 20 DEOs while the voters can file claims and objections till 25 October, which will be disposed of by 10 November.

Checking of health parameters and obtaining the Commission’s permission for final publication and updating the database and printing of supplements will take place by 19 November while final electoral rolls will be out on 25 November, reads the report.

As per the sources, the Election Commission is anticipating a significant increase in the number of electorates as a Special Summary Revision hasn’t been held in Jammu and Kashmir for the last three years.

It was not held in 2019 due to the 5 August decisions of the Central Government withdrawing the special status of the erstwhile state and bifurcating it into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh. It couldn’t be held again in 2020 and 2021 due to the delimitation exercise.

There seems to be no possibility of conduct of Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir this year as after the publication of the final electoral rolls on 25 November, the harsh winter season will start from December and last till February.

However, there are speculations that if everything goes well, the Assembly elections might be held in Jammu and Kashmir in April-May next year, as per the report by Excelsior.

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