Elections for six MLC seats | ECI to take final call, seeks details from CEO

The Election Commission of India (ECI) would determine whether required percentage of electors and local bodies are available to hold elections for six seats of the J&K Legislative Council, a top officer told Greater Kashmir on Friday.

To begin with, the poll-body has written to the state’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to submit details about percentage of local bodies and electors available in the constituencies reserved for Panchayats and Urban Local Bodies in the state’s Upper House.“We have received a letter from ECI seeking details about local bodies,” CEO Shaliendra Kumar told this newspaper. 

As per the ECI guidelines, elections for MLC seats of local bodies quota can be held only if at least 75 percent electors out of the total electorate are available in a constituency.

The other requirement is that at least 75 percent of local bodies should be functioning in a constituency reserved for Panchayats and ULBs in the Legislative Council. 

An official in the ECI said that they have asked the CEO to submit the necessary details about total number of local bodies constituencies. “We have also sought information about percentage of electors out of the total electorate of a constituency available for electing representatives to the Legislative Council,” he said.

Of four Panchayat quota seats, two each are reserved for Kashmir and Jammu regions while out of two seats of ULB quota, one each is reserved for Kashmir and Jammu divisions.

While elected representative of municipal committees, councils and corporations are  entitled to cast one vote in the election for ULB quota seats, each Sarpanch and Panch is entitled to cast two votes for candidates in his/her division for Panchayat quota seats.

In February this year, the state government had written to the poll-body to hold elections for these seats after State Administrative Council gave its nod for the electoral exercise.

The SAC decision came after elections were held for Panchayats and municipal bodies by the Governor’s administration in 2018.