Final list to be published on October 10
Poll process to be completed a month before Jan 9
JAMMU, Sept 18: The State Election Commission (SEC) today formally set the process for Panchayat elections in motion by ordering 20-day long exercise for second supplement to the Panchayat Electoral Rolls.
A detailed schedule for preparation of Electoral Rolls, 2023 was issued today by State Election Commissioner B R Sharma.
The revision exercise will begin on September 20 and final list will be published on October 10, an official order issued by the SEC this evening said.
“Term of the present Panchayats is ending on January 9, 2024 and as per Section 42 of Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, the elections to Halqa Panchayat shall be held one month prior to the expiry of the term,” the order issued by B R Sharma said.
It added that the SEC has in view of upcoming elections to constitute new Halqa Panchayats decided to give one more opportunity to left out voters to get their names added, deleted, correction, transposed with reference to 1.1.2023 as the qualifying date.
Therefore, the order read, the names in the last updated electoral rolls published on 10.2.2023 with reference to 1.1.2023 as the qualifying date shall be put in public domain for preparation of Second Supplement to the Panchayat Electoral Rolls, 2023. The qualifying date for current updation of Panchayat Roll shall, however, remain same as 1.1.2023.
The SEC asked the Electoral Registration Officer to get Panchayat Electoral Rolls, 2023, displayed at prominently locations in Halqa Panchayat on 20.9.2023 along with public notice.
The order stated that the State Election Commission has notified the schedule for preparation of Second Supplement and electors of the area can accordingly submit claims and objections regarding additions/deletions/corrections and transpositions of entries in the existing Panchayat Electoral Rolls to the concerned EROs.
As per the order, Panchayat Electoral Rolls will be displayed at prominent locations on September 20 while claims and objections for additions/deletions/corrections/transposition can be done from September 20-29.
Special Camps at the Polling Booth Locations will be organized on September 23 and 24 during which the Panchayat Election Booth Officials along with the Assembly BLOs will remain available at the Polling Booth Locations.
Claims and objections will be disposed of by ERO from September 30 to October 6.
Final Voter List with the Supplements will be published on October 10.
As per the officials, the Rural Development Department will also shortly undertake rotation of reserved seats for Sarpanch and Panch segments.
For Urban Local Bodies, the voter revision and draft reservation list of Wards have been issued. Shortly, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) PK Pole, the Election Authority for ULBs, is expected to issue final list of reservation.
After this, the ULB election process is expected to be set in motion.
Sources said the Panchayat polls can be held after completion of Municipal polls.
In 2018 also, the Municipal polls were held in October followed by elections to the Panchayats. While Municipal polls were held after 13 years, the Panchayat elections were conducted after decades.
Term of the Block Development Councils (BDCs) will end in October 2024 while the District Development Councils (DDCs) will complete their tenure in January 2026.
“Generally elections to all three tiers of Panchayati Raj System are held simultaneously. However, since elections to DDCs were held for first time in Jammu and Kashmir, there was gap of two years in their and Panchayats term while there was an year’s difference in Panchayats and BDC term,” sources said.
They said the Jammu and Kashmir Government will take a decision after taking security situation and other arrangements in consideration on when to hold the elections. A call is expected to be taken shortly, sources said.
Number of electorates in Jammu and Kashmir had gone up to 83.59 lakh when Special Summary Revision was carried out last year and final electoral rolls were published on November 25. The numbers further went up to 8.5 million when the Special Summary Revision was undertaken by the Election Commission this year and final rolls were published on May 27.
The ULB votes increased with publication of final rolls last week and similarly there is a possibility that Panchayat electorates will also go up after the revision.