Election Department rules out early municipal polls

We Are Busy With Revision Of Assembly Electoral Rolls: CEO Tells H&UDD


Srinagar, Dec 18: While the council of minister Monday expressed displeasure over the inordinate delay in conduct of polls to the municipalities, the State’s Election Department has ruled out early elections to the Urban Local Bodies “because of its preoccupation with the summary revision of Assembly electoral rolls ordered by the Election Commission of India (ECI).”
Sources told Greater Kashmir that the Election Department (ED) has communicated to the Housing and Urban Development Department (H&UDD) that in view of the schedule of summary revision of electoral rolls given by the ECI, the preparation of the municipal electoral rolls and holding of municipal polls would be possible only after the process for revision of Assembly electoral rolls is over.
The Election Department has argued that for the conduct of polls to urban local bodies, a fresh revision would have to be carried out from January 1, 2013 (qualifying date) as per the laws including J&K Municipal Act 2000, J&K Municipal Corporation Act 2000 and election rules.
“This process to be taken up in February 2013 will take minimum of 45 days after the finalization of the electoral rolls since the statutory period has to be given for inviting claims and objections and for their disposal,” the ED has written.
The ED’s response has came to the H&UDD query seeking “detailed note” from the former on its preparations for conducting municipal polls.
On Monday Chief Minister Omar Abdullah while chairing a cabinet meeting directed the Chief Secretary Madhav Lal to take up with the Chief Electoral Officer the issue regarding holding of municipal polls in consultation with the HUDD headed by Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand.
In September this year, the Cabinet had decided to hold the elections in December (2012) but the process was delayed due to the electoral revision and subsequent polls for four seats of Legislative Council (LC) reserved for Panchayats and state government’s announcements to hold Block Development Council (BDC) elections and subsequent preparations for it.
“The entire election machinery at the district level is occupied in updating the Assembly electoral rolls,” the ED has written to H&UDD.
It has cited that more than five lakh claims and objections were received by the various ERO offices across the state to be decided and disposed off. It would be followed by final publication of the electoral rolls.
Elections to ULBs were due in February 2010 after the previous elected bodies completed their term.  The last polls to the urban bodies were held in 2005 after a gap of 26 years.
Jammu and Kashmir has around 87 Municipal Councils and Committees. There are also 68 Municipal wards in Srinagar and 71 in Jammu.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 18 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 18 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 19 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST

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