Uncertainty over, panchayat elections in J&K from mid February  

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By FK WEB DESK on 25/12/2017.

Srinagar, Dec 25: Uncertainty over the holding of the panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir was cleared by Chief Minister, announcing to commence the polls from mid February. 

According to GNS, the information about the holding of elections in the state from February 15 was divulged by the Chief Minister in her meeting with governor N N Vohra on Monday.  

 Mehbooba who called on Vohra at the Raj Bhavan Minister informed the Governor about several important matters in regard to which the Cabinet had taken decisions a few days back, an official spokesman said here. 

“She also informed about her Government’s decision to commence Panchayat elections from 15th February 2018,” the spokesman said.

The Governor re-iterated his concern about the vital importance of ensuring prompt redressal of public grievances and for the entire administrative system to function in a truly transparent and accountable manner, to promote public welfare, the spokesman added. 

280 new Panchayats have been added in the State after delimitation, taking total number of existing Panchayats to 4378. When last elections were held in 2011, there were 4098 Panchayats in the State. The number of Panch segments too have gone up to 33,402 with the addition of nearly 4000 segments from previous elections.   

In major step forward towards holding Panchayat elections in the state, which were pending for last one and a half year, the Governor on November 4 promulgated an Ordinance designating Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Jammu and Kashmir as the State Election Commission (SEC) for conducting the polls in the State.

The ordinance was mooted by the Rural Development Department as there was no State Election Commission in J&K for conducting Panchayat elections. Under the Panchayati Raj Act, there has to be the State Election Commission for holding Panchayat elections. 

The Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh too had directed the State Government to hold Panchayat and Municipal elections in the State.  (GNS)