According to top sources in the Election Commission of India (ECI), the Assembly elections in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir are likely to be deferred till 2021.
The source said that the process of delimitation of Assembly seats is expected to begin by the end of November and the process would take around 14 months to complete.
According to reports, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is expected to write to the ECI after October 31, 2019 to start the process of delimitation for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
It said that the MHA communication cannot be sent to the ECI for delimitation before October 31 because constitutionally the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into the Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir will come into effect that day.
Sources in the ECI further said that it will complete the delimitation process in 14 months in 9-10 phases as it is mandatory to complete all the required processes and procedures to hold the process.
The ECI source said that until and unless the ECI formally announces the completion of the delimitation process, the assembly elections in the state will have to be deferred till 2021.
The sources further informed that after the Ladakh division separates from Jammu and Kashmir, the total number of Assembly seats will come down to 83 from 87 since the four seats of Leh, Kargil, Zanskar and Nubra would no longer be a part of Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly.