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EditorialIs it ECI or Situation in J&K behind delays in polls?

Is it ECI or Situation in J&K behind delays in polls?


The Union Government's decision to abolish Article 370 has been fully endorsed by the Supreme Court, confirming the constitutional validity of the move. This decision includes the creation of the Union Territory of from the erstwhile state of Jammu and . The verdict, eagerly awaited by the country's top court, has been welcomed by most political parties and influential figures in 's political landscape. Although some groups in the Valley have expressed reservations, their concerns have gained limited support under the current circumstances, rendering their objections relatively insignificant and without substantial impact.”

Not much time has passed since the authorities managing the country's affairs stated that the situation in Kashmir was not yet conducive for holding polls. They declared that elections would be initiated when conditions became favourable, subject to approval from the constitutional election body, the Election Commission of India (ECI). However, contradicting this stance, the Supreme Court in its recent judgment directed the ECI to conduct the Assembly Poll in Jammu and Kashmir before September 30, 2024. This direction suggests that the Supreme Court perceived it as within its rights to issue such an order, regardless of whether the ECI had been a hindrance in delaying the aforementioned poll in the Union Territory.

If the reason behind the delay in poll in J&K is turmoil or tumult then the ECI has no power to end this situational dilemma and if the situation is conducive then why on earth this constitutional body has been wasting time of the people by not providing them the opportunity to exercise their right to franchise for so long because ECI's job is to conduct polls fairly and not to stop them to give undue benefit to entities which don't want the same to happen for one reason or the other.

Supreme Court's direction in this regard is a bit confusing because making things conducive for polls in J&K is the job of government and not ECI, and therefore, directing it to hold elections in a particular timeframe raises many questions which shall be difficult to answer for the concerned stakeholders as this seems to be a mystery in J&K that who actually is taking decision on elections in the Union Territory?


The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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