It was in 1934 when the first Legislature of Jammu and Kashmir comprising of the Assembly and the Council of Ministers was formed. The Constitution of the State of Jammu and Kashmir was framed on 26 January 1957. Section 46 of the Constitution states that the Legislature will be comprised of the Governor, the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly. The strength of the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly was 100 members. The Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir (Twentieth Amendment) Act of 1988 revised the number of seats in the house and the house was given the permission to accommodate 111 members.
The State of Jammu and Kashmir was governed by Dogra rulers till 1947 when Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession in favour of the Indian Union on 26 October 1947. The first Legislature of Jammu and Kashmir, consisting of a Council of Ministers and an Assembly, was established in 1934. The Constitution of the State of Jammu and Kashmir framed by a separate Constituent Assembly came into force from 26 January 1957. Section 46 of the Jammu & Kashmir Constitution states that the Legislature shall consist of the Governor and the two Houses known as the Legislative Council (Upper House) and the Legislative Assembly (Lower House). The Legislative Assembly consisted of one hundred members chosen by direct election from the territorial constituencies in the State. Subsequently, under the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir (Twentieth Amendment) Act, 1988 – this was raised to 111. However, as per section 48 of the State Constitution, twenty-four seats shall remain vacant in the Legislative Assembly for the area of the State presently under the occupation of Pakistan. These seats are not taken into account for reckoning the total membership of the Assembly. Provision has also been made for the nomination of two women as members of the Assembly by the Governor, if he is of the opinion that women are not adequately represented in the Legislative Assembly.
The Legislature of Jammu and Kashmir is bicameral. The Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly at present consists of 89 members out of which 87 are elected and 2 are nominated. The Assembly has its own Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business to regulate the business of the House. These rules have been amended from time to time. The tenure of the Assembly is six years unless sooner dissolved.
According to section 48 of the State Constitution, 24 seats should be kept vacant in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly for the representatives from that part of the state which is presently occupied by Pakistan. These seats do not get counted within the total strength of the assembly house. The Governor has made the provision of nominating 2 women members, in case there is a lack of adequate women representative in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly. The structure of the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly is bicameral. Presently there are 89 members in the Legislative Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir including the two nominated members.
Brief History of Assembly Election in J&K - In the 2002 Assembly Elections in Jammu and Kashmir, the National Conference (NC) was voted out. The party was in power for more than 2 decades. The 2002 Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Election was held in 4 phases. In the 1996 elections, NC had won 57 seats and in 2002, it was unanimously voted out and could manage only 18 seats. 40-45% of the state population could cast their votes in spite of the several terrorist attacks and immense political turmoil. The phase I turnout was 47.28. The phase II turn out was even more depressing with 42 per cent. Habbakadal in Srinagar recorded the least turnout with 1% and Chrar-e-Sharif experienced the highest turnout of 59 %.
The National Conference won 28 seats, the Congress got 20 seats and the PDP gathered 16 seats. Panther's Party got 4 seats. The CPI (M) got 2 seats whereas the BJP and BSP got one seat each. The Independent gathered 15 seats. The main cause for NC's defeat is believed to be Dr. Farooq Abdullah's wrong decision of handing over the power to his son, Omar Abdullah just 3 months before the assembly poll. Omar Abdullah failed to prove himself an efficient political leader especially when it comes to sense the pulse of this highly politically disturbed state of India. Omar Abdullah was also accused of not taking active part in rallies and campaigns. Omar used to spend more time in New Delhi when he was expected to be in Jammu and Kashmir to handle the local political issues. Omar lost the Ganderbal seat to Qazi Afzal - PDP's candidate.
The performances of the independent candidates and the J&K National Panther's Party (headed by Bhim Singh) seem to be quite significant. 7 independent candidates along with two MLA of the CPI (M) came together to form the Democratic People's Forum (DFP) and declared to offer unconditional support to non-NC dispensation. Together, the PDP and the Congress have 36 seats in the house which was again 8 short of the number required to form a government.
This was followed by the assembly by-elections on 24 April 2006 to fill four seats in the house. The October 2002 elections proved itself a turning point in the political history of Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly. It became quite clear from the mass participation of the common people in the election that the people of Jammu and Kashmir were truly yearning for a normal and peaceful political state. People realized that normalcy can be regained through the practice of adult franchise and democracy.
Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Elections 2008 Results
Jammu and Kashmir Election Result on 28th Dec, 2008 Information Available: - 87/87:
INC=17, BJP=11, JKNC=28, PDP=21, CPI=01, J&K DP=01 & PD Front=01
General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Jammu & Kashmir - The Assembly Elections of Jammu & Kashmir has been declared by Election Commission. There will be a 7 phase election, the dates of which has been fixed for 14th , 23rd , 30th November, 2008, and 7th , 13th , 17th , 24th December, 2008, The Legislative Assembly of the State of Jammu & Kashmir was dissolved on 10 th July, 2008 and since then the state has been placed under the Governor's rule. This will come to an end on 10 th January, 2008.
As per constitutional law (Section 138 read with Section 52 (1) of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, and the decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Special Reference No.1 of 2002 [AIR 2003 SC 87, (2002) 8 SCC 237], and Section 27 of the Jammu and Kashmir Representation of the People Act, 1957) , it is mandatory on the part of the Election Commission to hold general election to constitute the new Legislative Assembly in the State before 10th January, 2009.
Under Section 47 read with Section 48 of the Constitution of J & K, the assembly constituency is as follows:
State Total No. ACs ACs reserved for SC ACs reserved for ST
Jammu & Kashmir 87 7 -
There are 65, 38, 111 electors in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
ELECTORS PHOTO IDENTITY CARDS (EPIC)
The identification of the voters at the polling booth at the time of poll is mandatory.Presently, the EPIC coverage in J & K is 68.00%.
There are 8,109 polling stations in the State.
DATE OF ELECTION
There will be seven phase elections in the state, starting from 14th November, 2008 till 24th December 2008.