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news details
Governor slaps leaders of mainstream political parties, orders for holding of Panchayat polls in JK
7/12/2018 11:57:07 PM
Jehangir Rashid

Early Times Report

SRINAGAR, July 12: Governor Narendra Nath Vohra led State Administrative Council (SAC) today virtually put a slap on the face of the mainstream politicians after it set the ball rolling for the holding of Panchayat elections across the length and breadth of Jammu & Kashmir. Mainstream political parties like National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Indian National Congress (INC) and Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) have been making many excuses and creating obstacles in the conduct of Panchayat elections in the state. Although, the tenure of Panchayats ended in 2016 no serious effort was taken to hold fresh elections for the same.
This is despite the fact that the Governor many a times in the past expressed his displeasure over delay on holding of Panchayat elections. Vohra many times impressed upon former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti to hold elections for the same saying that it is imperative for empowering the people at grassroots level. However, the CM did not pay any heed whatsoever in this regard.
Sources told Early Times that over the past few years Jammu & Kashmir has been losing funds on account of non-holding of Panchayat elections. They said that once the elections for Panchayats are held it is expected that the funds would percolate from the Panchayati Raj ministry to the concerned department in the state.
"In Jammu & Kashmir politics is attached with each and every thing. Same happened with the holding of Panchayat elections. These elections could have been held but the non-serious approach adopted by the people at helm meant that these are delayed. If the situation was bad in Kashmir, what stopped the state government to hold Panchayat elections in Jammu and Ladakh divisions," said sources.
It would be in place to mention here that the former PDP-BJP government had decided to hold the elections for Panchayats in February this year. However, at the last moment this could not happen and the polls were deferred. The chief minister at that time took to micro-blogging site Twitter and informed about the deferment of Panchayat elections.
Vohra today chaired the fourth meeting of SAC here and asked the officers to start the process of holding the Panchayat polls. Advisors to the Governor, Bharat Bhushan Vyas, K Vijay Kumar and Khurshid Ahmad Ganai besides Chief Secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam attended the meeting.
The SAC approved the proposal to amend the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989, for conducting elections of Sarpanches of Halqa Panchayats directly by the electorate of Halqa Panchayats and not by indirect method of electing Sarpanches from among the Panches themselves.
This will restore the original position in the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989, which provided for direct elections of Sarpanches, a position altered by an amendment passed in 2016. As such the state's Panchayati Raj Act would be in tune with the Panchayati Raj Act of the states of the country.
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