The Election Commission of India is likely to hold the Assembly polls in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh with 2019 Lok Sabha elections that may take place near April-May, news agency PTI quoted high-placed sources in the poll panel as saying. The terms of the four assemblies will end in May and June 2019.
The sources also said that there is also a possibility of holding elections to the Jammu and Kashmir assembly, that was dissolved this month before it completed its tenure, along with the general elections.
The sources also that by holding assembly polls in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh along with the Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission (EC) will be following precedents.
“The upper limit ends in May. We may hold elections in Jammu and Kashmir along with the Lok Sabha polls. But it can be held before that also. We’ll see in the coming days,” a functionary said.
The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly that his six-year term was to end on March 16, 2021. While other state assemblies and the Lok Sabha have a five-year term.
Meanwhile, sources in the central government pointed out that when security forces are deployed for the Lok Sabha polls in the state, it would be convenient for election authorities to hold the assembly polls simultaneously in respective states.
“When arrangements are in place for the Lok Sabha polls and the terms of the assemblies are ending during the same period, it is but natural that all polls are held together,” the functionary said.
Another Election Commission official said if Haryana and Maharashtra Assembly elections too are clubbed with other four states' polls and the Lok Sabha, then there would not be any other election in 2019. The terms of the two assemblies would end in November 2019.
“Hypothetically speaking, the two states have BJP governments. If a call is taken by the party to seek dissolution of the two assemblies six months before the schedule, then elections can be clubbed with that of the Lok Sabha and the four states,” he said.