First district development council elections in J&K on Dec 1
The first district development council elections will be held in Jammu and Kashmir on December 1 and the poll process will be completed by December 24.
In a notification, the state election commission said that November 16 is the last date for filing nominations; November 17 for scrutiny of nominations; and November 19 for the withdrawal of candidature, an official spokesman said.
Polling will be held from 7am to 2pm on December 1. Voting for panchayats to fill vacancies for sarpanch and panch will be held simultaneously for which votes will be counted by December 22.
It’s not clear yet whether the two mainstream political parties of Kashmir will be participating in the elections or not. The National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party had boycotted the panchayat and block development council elections.
However, leaders of these parties say that the leadership of the newly formed alliance will be consulted before taking a call whether the Peoples’ Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) will contest or boycott the elections.
The J&K government on Wednesday announced the DDC polls and panchayat byelections will be held simultaneously. Polls for 234 vacant seats of urban local bodies will also be held.
Besides the National Conference and the PDP, the Peoples Conference, the CPI (M), and the Awami National Conference are part of the PAGD. The Peoples Conference had participated in the panchayat elections, however, this time the party will go with the decision of the PAGD.
VACANCIES AFTER 2018 ELECTIONS TO BE FILLED
Elections to the posts of 39,521 sarpanch/panch were conducted in 2018 of which 13,257 positions are vacant due to resignation, removal, election of sarpanch as BDC chairpersons, death, and non-availability of candidates at the time of election. Among them, 1,089 vacancies pertain to the office of sarpanch, while 12,168 are posts of panch.
Since the 2018 elections, more than 504 panches have resigned different reasons. The highest number of 129 resignations came from south Kashmir’s Anantnag, followed by central Kashmir’s Budgam district with 81, while in Baramulla and Kupwara districts 67 and 61 panches submitted their resignations.
After getting elected, 12 sarpanches also quit with one each resigning in Anantnag and Baramulla districts. Five sarpanches resigned in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, while one each quit in Baramulla, Budgam and Bandipore districts.
Five panchayat members were killed by militants in the past one year and many panchayat members have been taken to the high-security zone after security forces got inputs that these members are on the radar of militants.
By holding these elections, the J&K government wants to complete the three-tier system of panchayati raj.