The state administration on Friday announced the dates for the municipal and panchayat elections.
The State Administrative Council (SAC) led by Governor Satya Pal Malik on Friday decided to commence the process for conducting the municipal body and panchayat elections in the state.
After extensive deliberations on various aspects and feedback received from the departments of housing and urban development, rural development and panchayati raj and home, the SAC decided that the elections to the panchayat elections will be conducted in eight phases between November 8 and December 4 this year.
The elections to the municipal bodies will be conducted in four phases between October 1 and 5.
The Chief Electoral Officer, J&K, was asked to adjust the schedules keeping in view the security and operational and polling requirements.
The decision to hold the civic body and panchayat elections was taken first by former Governor NN Vohra soon after the Governor’s rule was imposed in the state on June 20. The PDP-BJP government had failed to hold the elections even after a delay of two years.
Jammu and Kashmir witnessed the first panchayat elections in 1974. After that, a few panchayats went to the polls in 2000. However, the elections were held in all panchayats during the National Conference-Congress government in 2011.
The panchayats completed their term in July 2016 and the fresh elections were to be held before June 2016. However, due to a deteriorating security situation, the elections got delayed and nearly Rs 1,200 crore Central funds were not released.
The panchayat members have faced threats from militants and nearly 16 representatives have been killed and dozens injured in various attacks since 2011.
To ensure the smooth conduct of the panchayat elections, the state has retained over 15,000 additional security personnel who were deployed for the Amarnath yatra.