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Notifications issued for DDC polls, panchayat-municipal by-elections

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Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir State Election Commissioner K K Sharma issued the first notification on Thursday for conducting the maiden election to the district development councils (DDCs) in 20 districts and by-polls to panchayats.

The DDC elections, the first major political activity since the abrogation of Article 370 provisions on August 05 last year, will be held in eight phases from November 28 to December 22.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Hardesh Kumar also issued the first notification for conducting an eight-phase bypoll for the civic bodies.

According to the notification, the last date for submitting nominations is next Thursday, followed by scrutiny a day later and withdrawal of candidature on November 16.

He said the polling would be held from 9 am to 1 pm on November 28 and the counting of votes will be taken up on the same day for panchayat bypolls and on December 22 for the DDC polls.

The date before which the election shall be completed has been fixed as December 24, the spokesperson added.

He said the delimitation had been done for the constituencies and 280 DDCs identified across the Union territory for undertaking elections, with 14 DDC constituencies in each district.

“The term of the DDC will be for five years,” he had said, adding that West Pakistan refugees (WPRs) would also be entitled to exercise the right of franchise in these elections.

Sharma also issued the first notification for conducting an eight-phase by-election for panchayats to elect 12,153 sarpanches and panches. The elections will be held for 24 blocks spread over 10 districts of the Kashmir Valley and 53 blocks in six districts of Jammu division.

This will be the first major electoral process to be carried out in the region since the abrogation of Article 370 and the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir in August last year.

The last elections to the panchayats were held in November-December 2018, in which 22,214 panches and 3,459 sarpanches were elected by the respective returning officers.

Further vacancies have accrued on account of deaths and resignations of the elected sarpanches and panches. Another 307 seats fell vacant due to election of chairpersons to the block development councils in October last year.

The CEO had issued a schedule in February for election to vacant panchayat constituencies, covering 274 out of 285 blocks, but these were postponed due to the coronavirus situation.

Chief Electoral Officer Hadresh Kumar also issued on Thursday the first notification for conducting an eight-phase by-election for Municipal urban local bodies for 234 vacant wards from November 28.

Apni Party to contest DDC polls


Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) Thursday announced to participate in upcoming District Development Council (DDC) polls asserting that the party believes in democracy and wants the issues confronting the people to be resolved in democratic manner.

Apni Party general secretary, Rafi Ahmad Mir said boycotting elections gives an opportunity to the opportunists who do not want to serve people and creates an environment causing problems for the people.

Mir also said that loss of special constitutional position (after abrogation of Article 370) “has left everyone restless” in Jammu and Kashmir, however JKAP “would prefer to maintain quiet till the Supreme Court announces its verdict on the matter”.

He, however, said the JKAP would take advantage of every opportunity to press for the restoration of statehood.

“Ours is a democratic party, so far as participating in elections are concerned, it’s important to be part of the electoral process,” Mir told reporters at the party head office here.

The JKAP leader, without naming any party, said some regional parties boycotted elections for Panchayats and Urban Local Bodies – which not only created problems for the people but also gave an opportunity to the vested interests to exploit the situation.

Mir asked the people to participate in the District Development Council (DDC) elections and “choose educated and politically mature candidates only” who could understand their problems and are able to “resolve them politically”.

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