Panchayat polls deferred
Likely In March-April 2011
Jammu, Nov 2: The much awaited Panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir have been delayed once again and are now likely to be held in March-April, 2011.
Highly placed sources in the government told Greater Kashmir that the decision to `reschedule’ poll process for the Panchayats and local bodies in the state was taken at the highest level in view of the prevailing unrest in the Valley and inaccessibility of some areas due to winter. Besides need was felt to provide an opportunity to lakhs of youth across the state, who will be eligible to exercise their franchise only from January 1, 2011, official sources said.
Chief Electoral Officer, Jammu and Kashmir had fixed October 31, as the last date for filing of claims and objections for summary revision of Panchayat Electoral Rolls – 2010. However, as per a notification issued Monday, the dates have been extended and now the final publication of electoral rolls will be held on January 3, 2011.
“All eligible persons, who will attain the age of 18 years as on January 1, 2011 are entitled to file the claims and objections before the concerned Electoral Registration Officer”, the notification reads.
It said that any person can file the claim from October 19 to November 22, 2010, which shall be disposed off before November 30, 2010.
“This means that the government will hold the elections only after February”, sources said, adding that because of the winter season the polls are now most likely to be held in March-April, 2011.
However, when contacted Chief Electoral Officer, BR Sharma, who is also commissioner secretary Home, said that the elections have not been postponed as, according to him, no schedule was ever announced for the elections. “We had only fixed schedule for summary revision and same has been extended”, Sharma said.
He said that the decision was taken in view of the large number of representations with regard to those people who wanted to be included in the rolls but were ineligible as being below the age of 18 years. “As per the earlier schedule only those having attained 18 years of age as on January 1, 2010 were eligible to be included in the rolls but now even those who will attain 18 years of age on January 1, 2011 will be eligible to cast their votes”.
He said that by October this year around 50,000 new voters were added to the electoral rolls and this number is likely to increase four-times due to the revised dates.
Pertinently, several senior ministers in the state government have been harping on conducting the Panchayat and local body polls in December this year.
The state has 2,701 Panchayats out of which elections were held in about 1,900 in 2001. Panchayats in Kupwara and Baramulla did not go to the polls due to militancy.
But the Panchayats formed through the 2001 polls ended their five-year terms in 2006, and no poll has been held since then, on the ground that the situation was not conducive to hold Panchayat elections. They were to be held in 2007 but were put off.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 2 Nov 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 2 Nov 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 3 Nov 2010 00:00:00 IST
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