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Panchayat, municipal polls as per schedule: CS

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Govt forms panels for smooth conduct of ULB, Panchayat polls

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir chief secretary BVR Subrahmanyam on Monday said that Panchayat and municipal polls will be held as per schedule.

His remarks came even as the National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party announced to boycott the polls in view of concerns over Article 35-A.

“Panchayat polls are on, urban local bodies polls are on. A decision was taken in July. Voter list drafts have been printed and finalized. In few days, actual notification will be issued by the CEO. Panchayat elections will be held around Nov 5. The CEO will notify dates for that…Within one week you will see the entire process,” said Subrahmanyam to reporters in Kulgam while replying to a query.

The chief secretary was in the south Kashmir district to listen to the grievances of the public in an "awami darbar".

Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir government has formed two official committees to ensure smooth conduct of polls to Urban Local Bodies and Panchayats in the state.

Elections to Urban Local Bodies (ULB) and Panchayats in the state are scheduled to begin from October -01 and November 8, respectively.

"Sanction is hereby accorded to the constitution of following committees to ensure smooth inter-departmental coordination to facilitate the conduct of elections to municipal bodies and panchayats in the state," said Hilal Ahmed, Commissioner-Secretary, General Administrative Department (GAD) in an order on Monday.

The six-member panel of heads of the Home department, the Housing and Urban Development department, Finance, the GAD, the Information and Police has been set up for coordination for ULB polls, he said.

Another six-member panel of heads of the Home department, the Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Finance, the GAD, the Information and Police has been set up for coordination for Panchayat polls, Ahmed said.

Elections to municipal bodies will be conducted in four phases with polling dates between October 01 to October 05. Similarly, elections to Panchayats will be conducted in eight phases with polling dates between November 08 and December 04.

On Friday last, the Jammu and Kashmir State Administrative Council (SAC) had announced elections to municipalities and Panchayats in the state.

Last Panchayat polls in the state were held in 2011 after a gap of about 37 years. The polls, held for 4,098 sarpanch and 29,402 panch constituencies, had witnessed a record 80 percent turnout.

Last municipal polls in the state were held in 2005. There are 47 municipal council and committees in Kashmir division and 37 in Jammu division. The Srinagar Municipal Corporation has 73 wards while as the Jammu Municipal Corporation consists of 71 wards. There are three municipal councils each in Kashmir and Jammu divisions.

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