Three special observers, appointed by the Election Commission of India (ECI) to review the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and suggest as to when assembly polls can be held here, will visit the state at the earliest.
The apex poll panel, which announced the schedule for the Lok Sabha election 2019 on Sunday, had said that assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir cannot be held simultaneously due to security concerns flagged by the Centre.
The three special observers – Noor Mohammed, Vinod Zutshi and AS Gill – had met Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and fellow commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra on Tuesday.
The three special observers had been tasked to assess the situation in Jammu and Kashmir on a real-time basis to enable the poll panel to take a final call on holding assembly elections in the state.
“During the meeting, it was requested to the observers that they may kindly visit the state at the earliest…,” the Election Commission had said in a statement.
It may be recalled that the Jammu and Kashmir assembly has been dissolved and the Election Commission is bound to hold fresh polls there within a six-month period, which will end in May.
While a section of political leaders and analysts think that assembly elections can be held in Jammu and Kashmir along with the Lok Sabha polls but the volatile security situation in the state in view of the increased tensions between India and Pakistan has seen many opposing it.
During a meeting called by the ECI earlier this week, the Centre and the J&K Administration, being managed by the Governor, had opposed holding the two elections together, while all political parties favoured simultaneous polls in the state.
The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly’s six-year term was to end on March 16, 2021, but it got dissolved after a ruling coalition between the PDP and the BJP fell apart.
The other state assemblies and the Lok Sabha have five-year terms.