Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora on Tuesday said that most political parties in Jammu and Kashmir want the state polls to be held with the general assembly elections. The general elections are to be held in April-May. The deadline for holding fresh assembly polls in the state ends in May.
CEC Arora said that the parties in the state were keen on having the state assembly polls along with the Lok Sabha elections, basing the request on the turnout of panchayat and local bodies polls in the state.
"Almost all political parties voiced the need to have both Parliamentary and assembly elections connected at the earliest and together in the state. Their main argument was the recent turn out at the local bodies and panchayat polls and the fact that these elections are very peaceful. That itself shows that notwithstanding all the problems the state wishes to have a democratically elected government in place.
"It is said that the party and public republic at large have full faith in the ECI and it is hoped that the ECI will conduct constitutionally-minded free and fair elections in the state. That of course, the ECI is committed to conduct free and fair elections anywhere in the country," he said.
He also said the final decision on the matter will be announced in a media briefing in Delhi.
"We had a series of discussion... on the basis of all discussion including political parties and district label officers... the final decision will be taken and will be announced in press conference in Delhi," he said.
The ECI held high-level meetings with top security agencies and met with senior functionaries of various parties in the state during its two-day visit.
As per a Supreme Court ruling, the outer limit for holding fresh polls after dissolution of a House is six months and in case of J&K, this deadline ends in May 2019.
The SC verdict on a Presidential reference had also said the polls have to be held on the first occasion which means even before the six-month period.