Election commission may issue notification next week

SRINAGAR, AUGUST 24: As the state election commission is likely to issue first notification for urban body polls in next week, the Bharatiya Janata Party Friday hinted that it will go alone in the polls and contest all municipal seats across the Jammu and Kashmir.

“We have constituted committees in Jammu and Kashmir and have told our cadres to get ready and start preparations to go alone for Municipal polls,” BJP National vice president and Kashmir affairs in-charge Avinash Rai Khana told KNS over phone.

He said that the party was even ready for Panchayat polls. “We are ready for these polls and will participate in these elections with all our strength,”

The BJP top leader further said that Municipality elections form the very basic structure of democracy at the ground level. “Elections to urban local bodies will boost the democratic fabric in the state by providing administration at the door step of common individual”.

Meanwhile, sources said that the state election commission may issue the first notification for urban body polls in the next week.

Sources said that the government is likely to conduct polling in Jammu region as well as some of the border districts in Kashmir region with polling in the sensitive places like south Kashmir to be held in later phases.

The announcement for polls was made by the former governor N N Vohra. “Elections to urban local bodies and panchayats have been pending for long. The prolonged delay in the establishment of democratically-elected self-governing bodies at the grassroots level in urban and rural areas has resulted in the loss of considerable funds which would have become available if elections had been held,” Vohra had said in his Independence Day speech at Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium here.

He had said elections to urban local bodies will take place in September October while the phased panchayat polls will be held in October-December.

The last panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir were held in 2011. The urban local body elections have not been held for nearly eight years.

Meanwhile, sources told KNS that the government has ordered that Municipal elections in Jammu and Kashmir will be held on party basis. However, the same yardstick will not be applied for Panchayat polls, which will take place on non-party basis.

The elections, scheduled to be held in January, were deferred after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coalition government led by Mehbooba Mufti told the Centre that the situation was not conducive for the polls. (KNS)

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