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J-K to hold municipal elections from October 1, panchayat polls from November 8

Hizbul Mujahideen operational commander Riyaz Naikoo had threatened people interested in participating in the panchayat or municipal polls in an audio message on Wednesday.

india Updated: Sep 01, 2018 11:23 IST
Mir Ehsan
Mir Ehsan
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
J-K state administrative council,J-K municipal polls,SAC
Paramilitary soldiers and police near the encounter site in Batamaloo area of Srinagar on August 12, 2018. Jammu and Kashmir’s State Administrative Council (SAC) has decided to hold municipal polls in October this year followed by panchayat elections a month later.(Representative Image/HT Photo)

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday announced the schedule for its municipal and panchayat polls amid an escalation in violence across the Valley. While the municipal elections will be held from October 1, polling to the state’s panchayat bodies will be conducted from November 8.

The decision to hold the polls was taken by the state administrative council (SAC), which met under the chairmanship of governor Satya Pal Malik on Friday. Preparations for the elections had been going on ever since the state came under governor’s rule on June 20.

The SAC has decided that elections to municipal bodies will be conducted in four phases, with polling dates between October 1 and October 5, an official spokesperson said. “After extensive deliberations on various aspects and feedback received from the housing and urban development, rural development and panchayati raj and home departments, the SAC decided to commence the formal process for conducting municipal body and panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir and take all other consequential actions as per law,” he added.

“Elections to panchayats will be conducted in eight phases with polling dates between November 8 and December 4 this year,” the spokesperson said.

The chief electoral officer of the state was asked to adjust the schedules keeping in view the security, operational and polling requirements. The SAC also decided to grant one month’s extra salary, wages and remuneration in favour of government employees engaged in the conduct of elections – besides insurance cover – to mitigate risks, he said.

“Voter education will be given special focus. The government will launch a sustained campaign to sensitise voters to the importance of these elections for socio-economic development at the grassroots level,” he said.

Hizbul Mujahideen operational commander Riyaz Naikoo had threatened people interested in participating in the panchayat or municipal polls in an audio message on Wednesday. While the last panchayat polls were held in 2016, municipal elections haven’t taken place in the last one decade.

First Published: Sep 01, 2018 09:11 IST