September 16, 2020 2:09:12 am
By-elections to more than 12,000 vacant panchayat seats in J&K are likely to be conducted in October. The UT administration on Tuesday accorded sanction to an apex committee with a mandate to conduct preparatory work for by-elections to panchayats and Block Development Councils (BDCs). A notification for the first phase of the by-elections can be expected in the first week of October, sources said.
Besides the apex committee, divisional committees for Kashmir and Jammu have also been given approval. The apex committee, chaired by Principal Secretary (Home) Shaleen Kabra, and comprising DGP Dilbag Singh, Additional DGP (CID) R R Swain, along with with four other members, has been tasked with drawing a road map and detailed schedule for conduct of elections to vacant panchayats and BDCs. The panel will submit its report by September 28.
Elections to 316 blocks in 4483 panchayat halqas (including Ladakh at the time), comprising 35,029 panch constituencies, were conducted after a gap of seven years in November/December 2018.
Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Sheetal Nanda, said that besides seats where no one had contested elections in the previous election, “there have been resignations and in some cases deaths. So by elections will be conducted for all such seats.”
After the erstwhile state was split into two UTs, the number of panchayats has been reduced from 4,483 to 4,290, the rest being in Ladakh.
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