Assembly polls unlikely till 2021

Jammu/Srinagar: Top sources in the Election Commission of India (ECI) said on Saturday that the Assembly elections in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir are likely to be deferred till 2021.
Sources in the ECI said the process of delimitation of Assembly seats is expected to begin by the end of November and the process would take around 14 months to complete.
“The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is expected to write to the ECI after October 31, 2019, to start the process of delimitation for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The MHA communication cannot be sent to the ECI for delimitation before October 31 because constitutionally, the bifurcation of J&K into the Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir will come into effect that day. Once the ECI receives the mandatory communication from the MHA, the process of delimitation will begin. It would take around a month to finalise the sub-committees and schedules for undertaking the process,” top sources in the ECI said
“The EC will complete the delimitation process in 14 months in 9-10 phases as it is mandatory to complete all the required processes and procedures to hold the process,” they added.
This means that Assembly elections in J&K will have to wait till 2021, till the ECI formally announces the completion of the delimitation process.
After the Ladakh division separates from Jammu and Kashmir, the total number of Assembly seats will come down from 87 to 83 since the four seats of Leh, Kargil, Zanskar and Nubra would no longer be part of the J&K legislative assembly.
At present, the Valley has 46 assembly seats while the Jammu division has 37. It is likely that since the delimitation process would take into account the geographical area of the two regions, Jammu division would benefit by the creation of seven assembly seats through the delimitation process. (IANS)