Almost a year after the byelection to the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat in Jammu and Kashmir was cancelled because of violence, it is not yet clear when the Election Commission (EC) will conduct the polling.The seat has been vacant since July 2016 when Mehbooba Mufti resigned as MP and took over as Chief Minister.Panchayat poll hurdleThe Commission had planned to hold the bypolls immediately after the panchayat polls in the State that were earlier scheduled between February and March, said a senior official.However, with the State government indefinitely postponing the panchayat elections, there is also a question mark over the Anantnag bypoll.“When the State government announced the panchayat polls, we were hopeful that immediately thereafter the Anantnag bypolls could also be held. But then, they had to defer the panchayat polls for security reasons. The Commission is now reviewing the ground situation periodically to take a call on the issue,” said the official.Last year, the EC had announced that byelections to the Srinagar and the Anantnag Lok Sabha constituencies would be conducted on April 9 and 12, 2017. Central armed police forces were arranged for security arrangements.However, a large number of security personnel could not be deployed in Srinagar because of heavy rain and floods. This, coupled with widespread violence, led to a very low turnout, forcing the EC to review the situation.Following multiple rounds of meetings with all stakeholders, including the State administration, the EC decided to first defer and then cancel the Anantnag byelection.Unprecedented situationIt is the first time that a Lok Sabha seat has been vacant for 22 months. Earlier in 1991, the EC could not hold elections to any Lok Sabha seat in the State due to stepped-up militancy.On April 18, 1991, the President promulgated the Representation of the People (Amendment) Ordinance to enable the EC to conduct Lok Sabha elections without taking into account the seats in Jammu and Kashmir.According to Central government data, the State has witnessed 60 incidents of violence till March this year, which has left 15 security personnel, 17 militants and two civilians dead. This is in contrast to only 39 such incidents during the corresponding period last year. The most number of incidents was reported from south Kashmir, in and around Anantnag.