Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir government has kicked off the process for holding elections to vacant Panchayat and Block Development Council (BDC) seats in the union territory.

The administration has constituted 14- member apex level and two divisional level committees for holding elections in the union territory.

 

The Apex Committee will be headed by Principal Secretary to government, home department. It will draw a roadmap and detailed schedule for the conduct of Panchayat and BDC elections with a special focus on security, logistics, and other aspects.

The divisional level committee will be headed by divisional commissioners. They shall have to submit an outline of possibilities and constraints to the apex committee.

“Based upon an assessment of manpower, security, logistics, transport, equipment and all other requirements, the Divisional Level Committees shall submit an outline of the possibilities and constraints to the apex committee. The report shall be submitted by September 21,” the government order said.

Both committees will be served by the Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj.

Jammu and Kashmir administration held Panchayat elections in November 2018 after delaying it for more than two years. The election, which saw a voter turnout of 74 percent, left 11639 Panch and 1,011 Sarpanch seats vacant in Jammu and Kashmir.

As many as 22,214 Panches and 3,459 Sarpanches were elected.

National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party had boycotted the Panchayat elections.

Earlier this year, Jammu and Kashmir administration had announced that the elections to vacant seats in the newly-formed Union territory of J&K would be held from March 5 this year.

However, the polls were postponed citing security reasons.

Scores of the Panchayat members affiliated with BJP and other mainstream parties have recently resigned after militants attacked two Sarpanches and BJP members.

“The government should ensure the fool-proof security arrangement for Panches and Sarpanches.  Besides, steps should be taken to empower the Panchayat in Jammu and Kashmir to ensure development at the rural level,” president All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC) Shafeeq Mir said.

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