EC Sets The Ball Rolling for J&K Elections With New Voting Machine Demo on Jan 16 | Exclusive


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Edited By: Nitya Thirumalai

Last Updated: January 14, 2023, 17:25 IST

People walk past the Election Commission of India office building in Delhi. (File photo/Reuters)

The machine will enable migrants to vote without reaching the polling booth, seen as a significant step towards holding elections in the Valley. Invites for the meeting have been sent to all parties, including PDP and NC

In indications that Jammu and Kashmir elections might be held soon, the Election Commission has invited all parties to the Vigyan Bhawan on Monday where they will be given a technical demonstration of a new voting machine.

The machine will enable migrants to vote without reaching the polling booth, seen as a significant step towards holding elections in the Valley.

The Election Commission, however, has not yet linked the meeting or the demonstration to Assembly elections.

It will be important for the Union government to see which parties turn up on Monday since invites have also been sent to the PDP and National Conference.

News18 had reported this week that elections might be held soon in the Union Territory.

The final electoral roll of Jammu and Kashmir was published on November 25, paving the way for polls, the first since Article 370 provisions were abrogated and J&K was bifurcated into two Union territories in 2019.

Jammu and Kashmir hasn’t had Assembly elections ever since the BJP withdrew support to the Mehbooba Mufti-led coalition government in 2018.

Holding polls in Jammu and Kashmir entails a massive logistical exercise due to the terrain and the security situation with thousands of personnel from central armed police forces being deployed to ensure peace and free and fair polls. The electoral exercise in Jammu and Kashmir is usually spread over a month.

The revision of the electoral rolls was done after a gap of nearly three years. It was last carried out with reference to January 1, 2019 as the qualifying date. The electoral rolls could not be updated after the abrogation of provisions of Article 370. Later, the constituencies were redrawn following a delimitation exercise.

Following the delimitation, the number of assembly seats have gone up from 83 to 90, excluding the seats allocated to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.

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