Aasif Suhaf, Jammu, September 1:
State Administrative Council has announced poll dates for Municipal Bodies and Panchayats. Municipal elections will be held between October to December. Precise dates are Municipal Elections from 1-5 October 2018 in 4 Phases and Panchayat Elections from 08 November-04 December 2018 in 8 Phases.
In Jammu & Kashmir, the formal process for conducting Municipal Body and Panchayat elections has begun with the announcement by State Administrative Council yesterday.
Under the chairmanship of the State Governor Satyal Pal Malik, the State Administrative Council extensively deliberated upon all aspects and feedback from the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj and Home.
The elections to Municipal Bodies will be conducted in four phases with polling dates between 1st October and 5th October.
Similarly, elections to Panchayats will be conducted in eight phases with polling dates between 8th November, and 4th December.
The Chief Electoral Officer, J&K has been asked to adjust the schedules keeping in view security, operational and the polling requirements.
The SAC also decided to grant one month’s extra salary/wages/remuneration in favor of the staff engaged in the conduct of elections besides insurance cover to mitigate risks.
A Raj Bhawan spokesperson said that Voter education will be given a special focus for which the government will launch a sustained campaign to sensitize the voters about the importance of these elections in the socio-economic development at the grass root level.
Panchayat and Urban Local Body elections will enable people to take decisions at their own level, without having to go to the state capital or the district headquarters for their basic requirements.
Local Bodies will handle a substantial amount of funds and truly empower people all over the state.
Mainstream political parties including NC, PDP, Congress, BJP, and others have expressed their willingness to participate in these elections aimed at empowerment of people at grass root level for ensuring socio-economic development.
However, the militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen has already warned of serious punishment to all those who will contest these elections. Its Operations Chief Riyaz Naikoo in an audio statement said that the contestants would be attacked by Sulphuric and Hydrochloric acid.