Govt defers municipal polls

Umar Shah
Srinagar: Apprehending a rout, especially after failing to provide succor to the flood-hit people, the government has decided not to hold elections for urban local bodies that were scheduled in October this year.
Minister for urban development and urban local bodies Muhammad Ashraf Mir told Kashmir Reader that the elections will be conducted in April or May next year.
“Various developmental and rehabilitation projects that have been started at present and the same need to be completed before taking any new task in hand,” Mir said.
It was learnt that both PDP and its partner in government, BJP, have agreed to defer the polls.
On July 18, deputy chief minister Dr Nirmal Singh had stated that the government was committed to holding elections for urban local bodies to strengthen “democracy at grassroots level”.
The ULB polls were last held in January 2005 after a gap of 23 years. The elections were to be held in 2010 again, but the Omar Abdullah-led NC-Congress government failed to conduct the elections on time, which led to the lapse of funds granted by the government of India for the process.
In Jammu and Kashmir, there are 82 urban local bodies: 74 Municipal Committees and six Municipal Councils.