The Panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir will start on November 17 and will be held in 9 phases, officials said on Monday.
“Polling for the first phase will take place on November 17 and for the last phase the voting would take place on December 11”, Mr Kabra said, Chief Electoral Officer, J&K.
He also said that the model code of conduct will remain in force till the poll process is completed.
Panchayat polls were last held in the state in 2011.
Elections for the local urban bodies were completely in the state in four phases recently and the results were announced on October 20.
The two main parties in the state — the NC and PDP — will not be participating in these elections. Both parties had raised concerns over the Centre’s position on Article 35A, which extends constitutional protection to Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
Polling will be held through ballot to elect representatives to 4,500 panchayat constituencies in 316 blocks.
About 58 lakh voters will elect panches and sarpanches directly through ballot. For this, two separate colours of ballot papers will be used.
Like in the case of municipal polls, special provisions have been made for the Kashmiri migrant population to be able to cast their votes through ballot. “Voter slips will be distributed to 5812429 voters in Urdu and English language to make the voters aware about their respective polling stations. The voter identity cards will be compulsory for casting votes,” the CEO said. Expenditure limits have been enhanced to Rs 20,000 for sarpanch and Rs 5,000 for panch.
The notification for the first phase will be issued on October 23 and voting will take place on November 17, 20, 24, 27 and 29 and December 1, 4, 8 and will end with the last phase on December 11. Counting will be held on the same or the next day, Kabra said. All formalities for the panchayat elections will be completed by December 17.
[With inputs from online reports ]