CA members, representatives of state voted in first polls; 2 polling stations were set-up in 1967
By: Ibni Maqbool
Srinagar: Two years before the first presidential elections were held in 1952, Jammu & Kashmir became part of the process for electing the first citizen of India.
Documents in possession of The Precious Kashmir reveal that Article 54 and 55 of the Constitution of India were made applicable to Jammu & Kashmir through Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order, 1950 issued on January 26 that year.
These constitutional provisions define the process in which the presidential election is held
In the first presidential election, members of Constituent Assembly of Jammu & Kashmir and representatives of the state in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were eligible to cast their votes.
Until 1967, Jammu & Kashmir didn’t have elected MPs and instead its representatives in both the Houses of Parliament were chosen by the President in consultation with the Government of the State.
According to documents, the lowest value of votes in second presidential election in 1957 was for the MLAs of Jammu & Kashmir (59).
The documents also lay bare that two polling stations were set-up in Jammu & Kashmir in the fourth presidential election held in 1967.
“It was decided to have poll at two places in Jammu & Kashmir State, that is at Jammu and Srinagar. Therefore, the Under Secretary of the Assembly Secretariat was also appointed as Assistant Returning Officer(ARO)in Jammu & Kashmir apart from the Secretary of the Assembly Secretariat,” the documents state.
In the tenth presidential elections held in 1992, J&K’s MLAs were not part of the electoral process as the Legislative Assembly was under dissolution.
J&K’s Lok Sabha MPs were also not part of the process in 1992 as Lok Sabha elections couldn’t be held on all six Lok Sabha seats of then State in 1991 due to eruption of militancy.
In the last presidential election held in 2017 when the PDP-BJP MLAs voted in favour of Ram Nath Kovind, the value of vote of J&K MLA was 72.
As already reported , J&K won’t be part of the process for presidential elections scheduled to be held in July this year as elections are yet to be held for constituting the first Assembly of the UT.