Panchayat elections in nine phases

After getting a little respite from the hectic activities in respect of Local Bodies’ polls concluding by Oct 27, State Election Commission is all set to go in for holding Panchayat polls as well, starting from November 17, 2018 in Jammu and Kashmir. Panchayat Polls, it may be noted, carry with it a particular relevance and weightiness in the context of Kashmir valley where to conduct the same successfully is an acid test for the administrative apparatus.
There will be in all, nine phases of polls for Panchayat elections. Polling will be held on Nov17, 20, 24, 27 and 29 and Dec1, 4, 8 and 11 and the entire poll process would be completed by Dec 1.These elections are to be held on non party basis and counting of the votes would be done on the same or the next day. Throughout the State, there are 4490 Panchayat Halqas in 316 Blocks. As regards election expenses, the same stand revised as Rs.20000 for Sarpanchs and Rs.5000 for Panchs respectively. The revision, however, is not reasonably adequate.
The polls would be conducted by means of ballot papers and Kashmiri Pandits “migrants” could also vote through postal ballots.
Since the element of security is an integral part of the system especially in Kashmir valley, the CEO was non committal in respect of providing security per se on individual capacity but confirmed that a “security environment ” was to be provided. This is most sensitive aspect to be kept in consideration especially in the troubled spots of terror violence in parts of Kashmir valley. It is to be underlined that the optimism of there being a possibility of “peaceful atmosphere” in which to hold Panchayat elections, as envisaged by the CEO, must not be taken casually as it indicates the levels of the security arrangements hopefully to be provided by the Government for holding these elections in adequate measure.


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