EC reviews Special Summary Revision in J&K, calls for sticking to schedule

CEO discusses progress with all 20 DCs

Major focus as exercise being conducted after 3 yrs

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, Sept 8: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has reviewed ongoing process of Special Summary Revision of Electoral Rolls in Jammu and Kashmir.
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) J&K Hridesh Kumar also held video conferencing with all 20 Deputy Commissioners of the Union Territory and is reported to have called for sticking to timelines for publication of integrated draft electoral rolls on September 15 and final electoral rolls on November 25.
Officials told the Excelsior that the Election Commission reviewed the Special Summary Revision undertaken in Jammu and Kashmir after three years. The process is expected to be concluded on November 25.
The Commission is reported to have expressed confidence that exercise will be completed in time.
The Election Commission has been from time to time reviewing post-Delimitation Commission exercises followed by Special Summary Revision in Jammu and Kashmir including rationalization of Polling Stations and publication of electoral rolls.
The Summary Revision couldn’t be carried out in 2019 due to August 5 decisions of the Central Government including revocation of special status of erstwhile State and bifurcation of J&K into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh. The exercise wasn’t undertaken in 2020 and 2021 because of Delimitation Commission.
It is the Election Commission which has to take call on conduct of Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, which is without the Legislative Assembly since July 2018, after completion of the Special Summary Revision exercise.
While the possibility of elections this year is almost ruled out due to publication of electoral rolls on November 25 as snowfall generally starts in the middle of December in Kashmir valley and upper reaches of Jammu, the possibility of elections might be explored in April-May next year depending on the situation.
Sources said the Chief Electoral Officer Jammu and Kashmir also held a meeting with all 20 Deputy Commissioners through video conferencing and is understood to have reviewed the exercise of Special Summary Revision.
The integrated draft electoral rolls will be published on September 15 while claims and objections can be filed from September 15 to October 25. The claims and objections will be disposed by November 10.
Checking of health parameters and obtaining Commission’s permission for final publication and updating database and printing of supplements will be done on November 19.
The final electoral rolls will be published on November 25.
Major focus of the Election Commission has been to ensure that new voters are not left out of the Special Summary Revision exercise as already they couldn’t be enrolled as electorates for last three years due to no revision.
It may be mentioned here that the Chief Electoral Officer had recently held an All Party Meeting on Special Summary Revision of electoral rolls and set the doubts at rest about outside voters.
Barring the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), all other parties have reservation over inclusion of outside voters in the electoral rolls in Jammu and Kashmir.
The CEO is understood to have stated that he has already clarified the issue.
While the BJP wanted the Chief Electoral Officer to go as per provisions of the Representation of People’s Act, other political parties like National Conference, Congress (I), People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) etc wanted that outsiders shouldn’t be included in the electoral rolls.