J&K panchayat elections starts from April 16
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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.


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

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