Election Commission postpones a trip to Jammu and Kashmir
New Delhi: The Election Commission of India has postponed a two-day trip to Jammu and Kashmir to discuss assembly polls in the state in the wake of the devastating floods. Kashmir has witnessed the worst floods in the past 60 years – nearly 200 people have died and close to six lakh are stranded – and that’s likely to impact the scheduling of assembly polls in the state. The Jammu and Kashmir state assembly has to be reconstituted by mid-January and elections have to be held in the state before this deadline. All the three Election Commissioners were scheduled to visit the state on Thursday (September 11) for a two-day tour to hold discussions with the local administration. But given that the state administration is engaged in rescue and relief efforts on a war footing, the Election Commission has cancelled this trip for now. Though no decision has been taken on the schedule of the polls, Election Commission insiders say the polling process is likely to be delayed. Earlier, the Commission was looking at holding polls in multiple phases along with Jharkhand. The month of November and early part of December would have suited the administration as the state experiences bitter cold wave conditions and snowfall in late December and January. The floods have, however, forced the Commission to rework all their timelines. “No decision on poll dates have been taken yet but election process may get delayed,” said an Election Commission official.