Fresh Elections in Jammu & Kashmir
After the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35(A), all eyes are now on the next elections for the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir. While the state of Jammu & Kashmir was bifurcated in two separate Union Territories, only the UT of Jammu & Kashmir got a legislative assembly, while the UT of Ladakh did not get any legislative assembly.
What has happened?
- After the passage and approval of the J&K Reorganization Bill, 2019, it has become pertinent that fresh elections be held in the region.
- However, a few changes have been made in the assembly seat-lineups.
- The total number of seats in the J&K UT assembly will now be 107. It was earlier 111 but now the 4 seats of the Ladakh region have been abolished.
- 24 seats lie in the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir region and the elections won’t be held for those seats.
- Hence, elections will now be held for 83 seats.
- While earlier there was no provision of seat reservations for the members of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, the fresh bill has made provisions for the same and there is a need to carry out delimitation exercises for it.
What will happen now?
Going by past precedent, the delimitation exercise for the entire region will take at least 4 months and the fresh elections will be able to be held only after that.