Civic polls on schedule: Govt

The chief secretary’s clarification came on a day a New Delhi-based news channel reported that the state government was considering deferment of the civic polls in Jammu and Kashmir.

Mukeet Akmali
Srinagar, Publish Date: Sep 13 2018 12:14AM | Updated Date: Sep 13 2018 12:14AM
Civic polls on schedule: GovtPhoto: Mubashir Khan/GK

The panchayat and urban local body elections in Jammu and Kashmir will be held as per schedule, the chief secretary B V R Subrahmanyam said on Wednesday, dispelling speculations and reports that the polls are being deferred following the boycott call by the National Conference and People’s Democratic Party. 

Speaking at a seminar organised by the Income Tax department here, the chief secretary said: “Today the state administration had a meeting with the governor wherein it was decided that the panchayat and urban local body polls will start in next three weeks as per the schedule announced earlier.”

The chief secretary’s clarification came on a day a New Delhi-based news channel reported that the state government was considering deferment of the civic polls in Jammu and Kashmir. 

“There are multiple views on the issue. (But) we have decided that they (polls) are shall be held as per schedule. There will be no change in dates. Three weeks from now, we will have the urban body elections and in the first week of November, we will hold the panchayat elections,” Subrahmanyam said.

He said that adequate security arrangements shall be put in place to conduct the polls smoothly. “The administration has made foolproof arrangements and is regularly monitoring the security scenario to ensure that elections are conducted in a peaceful atmosphere,” he said.

Pertinently, two principal mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir—the NC and PDP—have announced boycott of the panchayat and urban local body polls, citing “assault” on Article 35-A which has been challenged in the Supreme Court.   

The municipal polls, last conducted in 2005, are being held after a gap of 13 years, while the panchayat polls were last held in 2011. At least 200 additional central police force companies are being deployed for the poll security, according to officials.

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