September 2018 News

Panchayat, Municipal Elections: Amid Deferment Rumours, Govt Says Polls As Per Schedule

12 September 2018
Brighter Kashmir

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Wednesday refuted media reports of the deferment of the panchayat and urban local body elections, saying there would no change in the poll schedule. 'There are multiple views going on, (but) we have decided and we are going on as per schedule. There will be no change in the dates, there will be no change in the schedule (for the polls),' Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam said, while addressing a function at the SKICC here. Some media reports in the morning said the polls were likely to be deferred in view of the boycott announced by the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party. The chief secretary said the local body polls would be held in October and, a month later, the panchayat polls would be held. 'Three weeks from now we will have the urban body elections. In the first week of November, we will have Panchayat elections. Earlier on Wednesday, J&K government is likely to defer urban local body polls scheduled for next month in the wake of boycott announced by two major parties, a media report said today. National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have announced boycott of the Panchayat and local body elections until the Centre makes its position clear on safeguarding Article 35A, a constitutional provision that defines permanent residents of the state. Quoting sources, NDTV said the elections for urban local bodies will be deferred to January. 'A formal decision is likely to be taken by the State Advisory Council (SAC) headed by Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik today,' it said. For now, there will be no change in the Panchayat elections scheduled to be held in November and December, said the report. Jammu and Kashmir is under the Governor's Rule after the BJP withdrew support to the PDP-led government in June. According to the report, the Centre wants to give time to the mainstream parties to review their decision to boycott the elections, a move seen as defeating the very purpose of holding the elections. The report comes just two days after the state chief secretary BVR Subrahmanyam said that polls will be held as per schedule.