Assembly polls in J&K likely to start after Amarnath Yatra
Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, in all likelihood, will be held only after the Amarnath Yatra ends in August, even as special observers appointed by Election Commission (EC) had recommended polls in May-June. Officials told The Indian Express that there isn’t enough time left for the Commission to announce and wind up a multi-phase election before July 1, when Amarnath Yatra begins.
The 46-day annual pilgrimage to the south Kashmir Himalayas takes up a lot of the state administration’s time and requires heavy security deployment. In fact, as the security forces need to man the entire national highway from Lakhanpur to Kashmir Valley and other the yatra routes from Baltal and Pahalgam to the holy shrine, the state administration starts deploying them at least a fortnight before the start of the Yatra. “The feasible window (for holding assembly polls before the Yatra) is too tight,” said an official, who did not wish to be identified.