J&K polls to be held before May, could be before general elections: CEC Rawat

File photo: Former Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat. Photograph:( ANI )

PTI New Delhi, Delhi, India Nov 23, 2018, 11.38 AM (IST)

The Election Commission has said fresh elections in Jammu and Kashmir would be held within the next six months even as it did not rule out the possibility of holding polls there before the Lok Sabha polls due next year.

"The Jammu and Kashmir assembly polls must be held on the first occasion before May ... It could be held before parliamentary elections also," Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat said.

He said as per the Supreme Court, the outer limit for holding fresh polls after dissolution of a house is six months, that is May, 2019.

Also read: Governor rule in J&K 'de facto' Modi rule, says Congress as it seeks fresh polls soon

At the same time, he made it clear that the election body will decide on the poll dates after "considering all aspects."

He said, the top court's verdict, an outcome of presidential reference, also said polls will have to be held on the first occasion which means even before six months.

Also read: I did not act on BJP's behest, says J&K governor Satya Pal Malik after dissolving assembly

He said the same principle was applied in Telangana where the assembly was dissolved prematurely.

The state governor Satya Pal Malik dissolved the assembly on Wednesday evening after People's Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti staked claim to form a government along with her arch-rival Omar Abdullah's National Conference (NC) and the Congress.

They claimed the support of 56 lawmakers in the 87-member state assembly. 

Shortly after, People's Conference leader Sajad Lone also staked claims to form the government. Lone, who has two lawmakers, said he had the support of the BJP's 25 legislators and "more than 18" others.

Story highlights

He said as per the Supreme Court, the outer limit for holding fresh polls after dissolution of a house is six months, that is May, 2019.