J&K panchayat elections starts from April 16

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 00:11

Jammu: The three-tier panchayat elections
in Jammu and Kashmir will be held in 16 phases, starting April
13, the state election department said on Monday.

"The 3-tier panchayat elections will be held in Jammu
and Kashmir in 16 phases, commencing on April 13. It will
conclude on June 30 with the notification of all Sarpanches
and Panchs duly elected," Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of the
election department, B R Sharma, told reporters here.

He said the notification for panchayat elections was
issued by the state government today and phase-wise polling
will be done at the level of blocks, which will be considered
as the units instead of districts for security reasons.

"First notification for polls in the first phase in
six blocks of Bishnah (Jammu), Samba (Samba district), Kangan
(Ganderbal), Budgam (Budgam district), Quimouh
(Anantnag/Kulgam) and Udhampur (Udhampur district) will be
issued on March 18 and polls will be held on April 13" Sharma
said.

Earlier Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati
Raj Ali Mohammad Sagar told reporters that the government has
issued a notification for holding three-tier Panchayati
polls in the state. "We want the democracy to strengthen at
the grassroots, so we have taken steps in this direction."

All the formalities have been completed and for the
first time elections for 3-tier panchayats will be conducted
on non-party basis, he said.

"The government is also setting up separate Finance
Commission and Election Commission for Panchayats for which
the bills will be tabled in the ongoing Assembly session," he
said, adding that 33 per cent reservation for women will be
ensured, besides for SCs and STs.

CEO Sharma said 5068975 electors will exercise their
right of franchise in 143 blocks to chose 4130 Sarpanchs and
29719 Panchs in Jammu and Kashmir in over 33,000 polling
stations. Elaborate security measures have been done and the
para-military forces and police will be used for ensuring free
and fair elections. "No additional troops will be brought from
outside the state," he said.

The polling would be done through ballot boxes against
Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) used the Assembly elections.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 00:11

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