Number of Polling Stations in Jammu and Kashmir has gone up to 11,370 and some Auxiliary Polling Stations can be set up where number of voters exceeds 1400 for the next Lok Sabha elections as three elections are scheduled in Jammu and Kashmir during current financial year including Panchayats, Municipalities and Parliament while Assembly polls are due.
This was stated by Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Jammu and Kashmir PK Pole in an exclusive interview to the Excelsior, his first to any newspaper after taking over the prestigious post especially at a time when the UT is scheduled to witness three major elections and Assembly polls are also due.
He said 19,000 each Ballot Units, Control Units and VVPATs with update version will be used for the Lok Sabha polls.
“Ongoing Special Summary Revision in Jammu and Kashmir was necessitated as the Election Commission has undertaken major reform under which youth turning 18 on Ist January, April, July and October can also enroll them as voters well in advance and will get the voting right when they turned 18,” Pole said adding the process for entertaining claims and objections will be over on May 6. Final rolls will, however, be published on May 27.
Further, women who have married and shifted from one place to another, will also be registered during Special Summary Revision
He said the Panchayat, Urban Local Bodies and Lok Sabha elections are scheduled in Jammu and Kashmir during current financial year while Assembly elections are due.
Panchayats and Municipalities will complete their five-year term in October-November this year while Lok Sabha polls are scheduled in April-May next year, he said.
“As per the procedure, separate revision in the electoral rolls has to be carried out for Panchayat polls while for Urban Local Bodies, the rolls can be extracted from the general Summary Revision,” the Chief Electoral Officer said.
He added that separate revision for Panchayat elections is necessary as there are very small Panch constituencies and shifting of even one house from one Ward to another leads to objections. Therefore, separate revision will be carried out for the Panchayat polls, he said.
Number of electorates in Jammu and Kashmir had gone up to 83.59 lakh when Special Summary Revision was carried out last year and final electoral rolls were published on November 25. The numbers could further go up when final rolls will be published on May 27.
However, for Urban Local Bodies, Pole said, the Summary Revision Rolls will be the basic rolls but they will be put in domain for corrections and objections for Corporations, Councils and Committees.
The CEO J&K said the Election Commission had stated that upcoming elections will be inclusive with special facilities for Persons With Disabilities, and 4-5 type of other physical disabilities like deaf and dumb, blind etc.
“Now, every Polling Station will know how many persons with disabilities it has and their voting will be facilitated with Braille option, wheel chairs and other requisite facilities. Similarly, citizens above 80 will not be required to wait in queue for casting their votes. They will be called during lean period of voting,” Pole said.
As far as Kashmiri migrant voters are concerned, their maximum number after Jammu is in New Delhi and the Relief Commissioner has held a camp there. An AERO has also been designated in New Delhi and he has been given powers so that the migrant voters don’t face any problems in registration.
Few days back, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar had stated that ongoing Special Summary Revision in Jammu and Kashmir will not impact the schedule of Assembly elections. He had also mentioned that there is vacuum in Jammu and Kashmir which has to be filled. (Daily Excelsior)