Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government has set the ball rolling for panchayat polls in the state after Governor N N Vohra assented to the promulgation of Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017. By approving the promulgation of an ordinance, the Governor empowers the chief electoral officer to hold panchayat elections in the state.
Vohra, who has been repeatedly emphasizing the crucial importance of there being no further delay in holding Panchayat elections for the establishment of the three-tiered framework of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) has approved the urgent promulgation of this ordinance, during the Darbar Move period so that no time whatsoever is lost in commencing preparations for the conduct of the pending elections, said a statement, issued today.
The Governor observed that the establishment of the PRI set up shall ensure effective participation of the people in the decision making process and enable them to oversee the implementation of developmental programmes.
It may be recalled that the Governor, in discussions with the Chief Minister since summer 2016 has been pressing for the early conduct of elections to both the urban and rural self-governing bodies. The Panchayat elections are now envisaged to be held in winter 2017-18.
Considering the time-frame for the forthcoming elections the Governor has also consented to the issue of the J&K Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Ordinance 2017 to empower the State Chief Electoral Officer to determine and de-limit halqa panchayats and to conduct the Panchayat elections.
The elections to the Halqa Panchayats were held in 2011 and its five-year tenure expired in July 2016.
Under this act, the power to determine and delimit Halqa Panchayats in accordance with this Act shall vest in the chief electoral officer.