Kashmir: Assembly elections in J&K | ECI invites applications seeking allotment of common symbol

IOK - Indian Occupied Kashmir Jammu & Kashmir

Jammu: Moving a step forward in consonance with its commitment to initiate election process in J&K very soon, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has invited applications from registered unrecognised political parties seeking allotment of the common symbol for assembly polls in the Union Territory.

As per a notification issued by the ECI on June 7, the process to accept application has started with immediate effect.

“The Commission has decided to accept applications seeking allotment of Common Symbol under Para 10B of the Election Symbols (Reservation & Allotment) Order, 1968 for the General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir with immediate effect,” read ECI notification.


As per ECI site, the conditions for common symbol allotment stipulate that on the date of application, the (applicant) party should be a registered political party with it (Election Commission of India) under the provisions of Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

An application is made at any time during the period commencing from the date six month prior to the date of expiry of the term of Assembly or House and latest by five clear days before the date on which the notification (or the first of the notifications in the case of phased election) of the election is scheduled to be issued.

Another ECI condition for common symbol allotment specifies that the party that has availed of this concession on two occasions shall, however, be eligible for the concession in any subsequent general election subject to the condition that on the previous occasion when the party availed of the facility, the votes polled by all the contesting candidates set up by the party at the general election in the state (UT) was not less than one percent of the total valid votes polled in the state (UT).

“The party should have conducted its organizational election as per tenure approved and the applicant should be presently an authorized office bearer of the party as per the latest organizational details taken on record of the Election Commission of India. The party should have submitted reports on contributions received and Audited Annual Accounts as per instruction for the last three Financial Years, to the office of the Chief Electoral Officer of the State (UT) where the party is having its headquarters,” the conditions stipulate.

Besides, the party should have submitted its Election Expenditure statements for the last two elections the party has contested (if any), to the office of the Chief Electoral Officer of the state (UT). If an application for common symbol allotment is rejected on any reason, a fresh duly filled application along with necessary enclosures may be submitted to the Election Commission of India after the reason for rejection of earlier application has been rectified.

Recognised national and state parties have their reserved symbols.


Notably, the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) recently, while lauding overwhelming voter turnout in J&K during parliamentary polls-2024, had stated that the ECI would very soon initiate (assembly) election process in J&K. “Huge participation of J&K people has indicated that they are fully ready for assembly elections. It is very heartening and satisfying for us and as per our promise, we’ll very soon start the process (of conducting assembly polls),” CEC had said.

Though the ECI has, so far, not specified as to “how soon” its “very soon”, for initiating conduct of assembly elections in J&K, will be – yet this notification has reinvigorated the fresh spell of speculations about the timing (of announcement of poll schedule).

In any case, September 30 is a deadline fixed by the Supreme Court for it to complete (election) process.


Earlier in March this year, the ECI had amended its “Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968” by extending its application to Jammu and Kashmir as well.

Notification was issued on March 11, 2024, days before the imposition of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) for the General Elections-2024.

The amendment was made by the Commission, in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 324 of the Constitution of India read with section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, section 21 of the General Clauses Act, 1897, Rules 5 and 10 of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, and all other powers enabling the Commission in this behalf.

Amendment had become necessary following abrogation of Article 370.

The order, which deals with allocation of symbols for parties, reservation of symbols and resolving intra-party disputes, was earlier not applicable to J&K.

Following amendment, the order says it “extends to the whole of India and applies in relation to elections in all Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies.”

It was explained in the order – “State” includes the National Capital Territory of Delhi, the Union Territory of Puducherry and the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.

National Capital Territory of Delhi, the Union Territory of Puducherry and the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir are the UTs with a provision of assembly.__GK Kashmir