Srinagar: The formal notification for the panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir is likely to be issued on January 12, sources said today.
They said that the notification will be issued by the Chief Electoral officer on January 12.
Pertinently, the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had informed the Governor N N Vohra that her government has decided to hold the Panchayat polls from February 15.
The last Panchayat elections were held in April-May 2011 with a huge turnout.
The elections scheduled for 2016 were postponed in view of unrest triggered by the July 8 killing of Hizb commander Burhan Wani’s killing.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister said her government is committed to empowerment of grassroots level institutions and the proposed elections to the Panchayats and Urban Local Bodies is a major step in this direction.
“The Government made a commitment on the floor of the House in June 2016 that the elections to the rural and urban local bodies would be held at the earliest to ensure full empowerment of these institutions,” the Chief Minister said while talking to various public delegations in Jammu.
The Chief Minister sought larger participation of the people in the Panchayat elections scheduled to be held in February 2018.
Pertinently, the last Panchayat elections were held in J&K in 2011, while the Urban Local Body polls were held way back in 2005.
The Chief Minister said that the Panchayat polls will be followed by elections to the Urban Local Bodies to fully empower these basic democratic institutions.
Mehbooba said the elections to Panchayats and Urban Local Bodies will empower these institutions to not only have the democratic powers but the financial resources as well to undertake developmental activities at the grassroots level. “These democratic institutions play a vital role in taking forward the all-round developmental agenda of the government to every section of the population,” she said.
She said the State’s Election Authority would formally set the process for holding Panchayat polls into motion after the Rural Development Department issues the requisite notification in this regard in accordance with the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act.