Panchayat, ULB polls to empower JK’s grassroots democracy: CM

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JAMMU: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday said government is committed to empowerment of grassroots level institutions and the proposed elections to the Panchayats and Urban Local Body 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 here.
She sought larger participation of the people in the Panchayat elections scheduled to be held in February 2018.
The last Panchayat elections were held in J&K in 2011, while the ULB polls were held way back in 2005.
Mehbooba said the Panchayat polls will be followed by elections to the ULB to fully empower these basic democratic institutions.
She said the elections 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.
The chief minister 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.