Elections to urban local bodies and panchayats will be held in Jammu and Kashmir despite the state being under Governor’s Rule after the governor’s administration approved a proposal to amend the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989. A report on DNA said a meeting of the State Administrative Council, chaired by Governor NN Vohra, approved the amendments. The elections are likely to be held in October 2018, according to sources. Vohra’s advisors BB Vyas, K Vijay Kumar and Khurshid Ahmad Ganai, besides Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam attended the meeting.
Instructions have been issued to all top-level officials and stake-holders have been asked to work out modalities for execution, sources said.
The panchayat polls were scheduled to be held in the state in February this year, but the state government had decided to defer it, saying the situation was not conducive for an electoral exercise. Incidentally, all the major political parties in the state — the Peoples Democratic Party, National Conference and the Congress — had opposed the panchayat polls, while the Bharatiya Janata Party alone was in favour of holding the elections on the proposed dates.
The state has been under Governor’s Rule since 19 June, after the BJP pulled the plug on its alliance partner, the PDP, saying it was becoming “impossible to continue in the state in view of the growing radicalism and terrorism”. And it appears that after having the state under Central rule, among the first acts of the BJP will be to hold panchayat polls again. The Hindustan Times report quoted a party legislator as saying they have been asked to be ready. “We have been asked to be ready for panchayat and local body elections in Jammu and Kashmir. We are ready for these polls and will participate in these elections with all our strength. I think these polls could be held within the next two or three months,” he said.
Coourtesy: First Post