Srinagar: Panchayat elections in Jammu
and Kashmir, which have been postponed due to various reasons
including the ongoing unrest in the Valley, would be held in
"Panchayat elections across the state would be held in
December so as to involve the people at the grass root level
in policy implementation and formulation for their
development," an official spokesman said after a meeting
chaired by Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj
Ali Mohammad Sagar on Monday.
The Panchayat and local bodies` polls were earlier
scheduled to be held in spring this year.
The state has 2,700 panchayats out of which elections
were held in about 1,900 in 2001.
Sagar impressed upon the concerned officials to speed
up the preparation process so that the elections can be held
smoothly and within the shortest possible time.
He said by establishing the Panchayats, "We would be
transferring the power to the grass root level, involving the
Sagar said a three-tier set up would ensure effective
decentralisation of power.
Noting that substantial amount of funds remain
unutilised due to non-establishment of panchayats in the
state, he said, "Holding elections would help to secure
additional funds from the Centre which would go a long way in
alleviating poverty and improving the socio-economic
conditions of the people of rural areas".
The meeting was attended among others by Chief
Electoral Officer of the state BR Sharma.