A report appearing in The Tribune today, i.e., 28th July 2020, titled “J&K polls after delimitation” is attributed to Shri G.C. Murmu, Hon’ble Lieutenant Governor (LG), J&K. Similar statements of LG were earlier reported by The Hindu dated 18.11.2019; News18 dated 14.11.2019; Hindustan Times dated 26.6.2020 and Economic Times (ePaper) dated 28.7.2020. Election Commission takes exception to such statements and would like to state that in the Constitutional scheme of things, the timings etc. of elections is the sole remit of Election Commission of India. Before deciding the timing, the Commission takes into consideration all the relevant factors including topography, weather, sensitivities arising out of regional and local festivities in the area(s) where the election is to take place. For example, in the current times, Covid 19 has introduced a new dynamic, which has to be and shall be taken into consideration at the due time. In the instant case, the outcome of Delimitation is also germane to the decision. Similarly, availability of central forces and railway coaches, etc. for the transportation of CPFs are important factors. All this is done after meticulous homework by the senior officials of the Commission and a detailed assessment in due consultation with concerned authorities. The Commission itself schedules a visit to the concerned State wherever required and holds extensive consultations with all the stakeholders. It would be proper for authorities other than Election Commission to refrain from making such statements which virtually tantamount to interfering with the Constitutional mandate of Election Commission.
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