The Jammu and Kashmir panchayat elections will be held in nine phases from November 17 to December 11, announced Chief Electoral officer of Jammu and Kashmir Shaleen Kabra on Sunday, confirming that ballot papers will be used for the polls. The counting of votes will take place on the polling day, he added. The Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat polls will elect as many as 4,130 sarpanchs, 1,145 ward commissioners, and 29,710 panchs.
The dates for the polls are locked on for November 17, 20, 24, 27 and 29 and December 1, 4, 8 and 11.
The state election commission on Saturday declared that the municipal elections in the state will be held in four phases starting from October 8 to 16.
The announcement of Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Polls comes days after J&K Chief Secretary denied reports that the elections are expected to be deferred.
Earlier, it was stated that due to the decision of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the National Conference (NC) to boycott the elections, the panchayat polls might be deferred. Both the parties had announced that they would boycott the polls due to the Centre’s stand on Article 35A.
The Centre has asked for a delay in the date of hearing in the Article 35A case from the Supreme Court in August, citing the Municipal and Panchayat polls in the state.
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The Article 35A of the Indian Constitution empowers the Jammu and Kashmir legislature to define ‘permanent residents’ of the state and provide special rights to them.
The last panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir were held in 2011 after a long break. The elections for the local bodies were expected to be held in 2016 but was delayed due to unrest in the Kashmir Valley after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.