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J&K people will soon get a chance to elect their Govt: CEC

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar has announced that the people of Jammu and Kashmir will soon have the opportunity to elect their government. Speaking to reporters in New Delhi, Kumar emphasized the Commission’s intention to facilitate the formation of a government and the selection of representatives by the people of Jammu and Kashmir as soon as possible. He noted that the Assembly elections are due and indicated that a visit to the Union Territory on March 12 hinted at holding the elections at an appropriate time.

Kumar highlighted the enthusiasm among voters in Jammu and Kashmir, citing significant voter turnout in the recently conducted Parliamentary polls. He expressed confidence that a well-organized election would encourage widespread participation. The large voter turnout, particularly impressive in Baramulla, Anantnag, and Srinagar, set a record for the past four decades, indicating heightened political engagement.

The Supreme Court’s directive on December 11, 2023, to conduct Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir by September 30, 2024, underscores the urgency of the matter. The last Assembly elections were held in November-December 2014, and the Union Territory’s Assembly comprises 90 seats, with additional provisions for nominations, including representation for women, Kashmiri migrants, and PoJK refugees.

In related news, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar, along with Election Commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, presented the list of winning candidates from the Lok Sabha elections to President Droupadi Murmu. Following this, the President ordered the dissolution of the 17th Lok Sabha.

The recent Lok Sabha elections recorded a voter turnout of 65.79 per cent, a slight decrease from the 67.40 per cent turnout in the 2019 elections. The Election Commission noted that the final turnout figures might change after accounting for postal ballots. The electorate has grown significantly, with 96.88 crore voters in 2024 compared to 91.20 crore in 2019.

Interestingly, women voters outnumbered men in the seventh phase of the elections, with a turnout of 64.72 per cent compared to 63.11 per cent for men. This trend of higher women voter turnout was consistent in the fifth and sixth phases as well. States like Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, and Uttar Pradesh saw higher female voter participation.

With the conclusion of the elections, the Model Code of Conduct, which had been in effect since March 16, has now been lifted. The Election Commission communicated this to the Union Cabinet Secretary and State Chief Secretaries, signaling the end of the code following the declaration of results for the Lok Sabha and various Assembly elections and bypolls.

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