J&K Timeline: After Abrogation Of Article 370, People Still Await Elections

While the nation is going into the general elections, the people of Jammu and Kashmir are waiting since ten years to exercise their democratic right to vote for their representatives to the legislative assembly.

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A Kashmiri girl looks on as paramilitary personnel stand guard along a road in Srinagar ahead of SC's verdict on Article 370. Photo: Getty Images

The people of Jammu and Kashmir are waiting to elect their representatives for the legislative assembly since the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the state into two union territories in 2019. The last elections in the state were held ten years ago in 2014. In this decade a lot has been said about the democratic rights of the people in the erstwhile state to elect their government by the various political parties, government at the centre, the administration and recently, even by the Supreme Court of India.

Outlook looks at the timeline of who said what on the possibility of legislative elections since 2020, when seven non-BJP parties came together and found an alliance for restoration of special status and statehood of Jammu and Kashmir.

2020: On October 20, seven political parties of Jammu and Kashmir including National Conference, People’s Democratic Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Jammu and Kashmir Awami National Conference resolved to fight for the restoration of Article 370 and statehood. The called themselves People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PDGD) aka Gupkar Alliance.

After the 2019 political upheaval, the first elections held in the newly formed union territory of Jammu and Kashmir were for the first ever District Development Council (DDC) in November. The Gupkar Alliance registered a major win by claiming 110 seats out of 278, while BJP won 75 when the results were declared in December.  

2021: In June, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a meeting with regional leaders promised that assembly elections will be held soon once the delimitation process is finished. Former Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah questioned the timing of the delimitation process.

On August 24, the then Janata Dal (United) national president, Lalan Singh, demanded restoration of statehood before holding assembly elections.

2022: On May 5, the much awaited Delimitation Order was notified by the Government of India. The legislative assembly elections were put on hold on the pretext of delimitation process. After the process was completed Jammu and Kashmir assembly now has 90 seats, 43 from Jammu region and 47 from Kashmir.

On June 17, Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh, while on a two day visit of the erstwhile state said he had that there was a ‘strong possibility’ that elections will be held by the end of year.

On July 1, Election Commission of India begins to revise the voter’s list. It directed J&K election officer to finish the special summary revision (SSR) by the end of October.

On July 3, LG Manoj Sinha, reiterated that elections will be held only after the delimitation process is completed.

In December, BJP national general secretary, Tarun Chug, said he was ‘confident’ that the legislative assembly elections will be held in May 2023, and the cadre should be ready.

2023: On August 23, the Forum for Human Rights in Jammu and Kashmir released a report on the condition of human rights in the erstwhile state. Opposition leaders including Gupkar alliance leaders Farooq Abdullah and Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, were also present at the event and asserted the demand for elections.

On November 11, the Supreme Court constitutional bench upheld the abrogation of Article 370. The court also said that the statehood (without union territory of Ladakh) should be restored soon and fixed September 31, 2024 as the deadline to hold the state assembly elections.

2024: On January 12, former CM, Omar Abdullah in a post on X, said "The true face of 'the mother of democracy', where once elected representatives of the people from all parties, religions, backgrounds & parts of J&K legislated on matters of great importance now actors & extras use it as a set for TV dramas,". He was referring to a Hindi language political drama series being filmed at the Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly hall.

On March 8, Omar Abdullah said in a press conference said that ‘time has kept PDP out of the race in these elections not NC’. He effectively ended the possibility of including PDP in a seat-sharing agreement as part of the INDIA bloc.  

On March 30, Union Minister and BJP leader, Anurag Thakur, said “It was the tricolour that was disrespected in its own country here but under the Modi government, Tiranga has got true honour and today it flows with full respect in Lal Chowk and other areas of Kashmir, where it was, once, said that no one could carry the national flag in the valley”

On April 3, Omar Abdullah announced that Farooq Abdullah will not be contesting in the Lok Sabha elections due to health issues. He also said that “these elections aren't about daily issues, these elections allow us to show Delhi and the world how the actions of 5th August 2019 have fared in Kashmir”.


On the other hand, the same day, former Congress leader, Ghulam Nabi Azad, who floated his own party in September 2022, decided to contest Anantnag-Rajouri constituency.

PDP leader, Mehbooba Mufti, miffed by NC’s decision to exclude PDP from the seat-sharing arrangement, said that the party is ‘left with no options’ and has decided to contest the elections individually. She added that “My workers are deeply hurt by Omar Abdullah's statement”. 

On April 4, Omar Abdullah said that NC and Congress will jointly fight on five Lok Sabha constituencies of the erstwhile state.