SRINAGAR – A day after Jammu and Kashmir government announced to conduct the Block Development Council (BDC) polls in the state, the government was considering to facilitate the participation of detained Panchayat members.
The government was considering to follow the rules to facilitate the participation of those Panchayat members, who have been taken into the preventive custody. The date for the polls were announced yesterday at a press conference by Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Shailendra Kumar.
The decision was taken after the government realized the huge vacancy of seats in the first tier of the Panchayat polls held last year. “We are actively considering the participation of detained Panchayat members in the BDC polls,” a senior government functionary told KNO, on the condition of anonymity.
Official figures revealed that out of total 18, 089 Panchayat members, in less than a year since the first tier of the polls were held, 20 Panchayat members have died, while as 43 members have resigned in Jammu division.
Election was not conducted for 103 Panchayat members, thus, making the total of 166 vacancies in Jammu division.
Similarly, In Kashmir division elections could not be held for 12054 Panchayat members and 500 Panchayat members resigned, 11 died, thus, making the total vacancy of 12, 565 members.
In Ladakh, in 31 blocks, a total number of 1414 Panchs and 192 Sarpanchs were elected, while the polls couldn’t be held for 24 Panchayat members. 19 members resigned, two died- making the total vacancy of 45 members.
Sources in the Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj said that the government want the maximum participation of Panchayat members that was why voting rights of detained panchayat members has been being considered.The state is going to polls for second tier of Panchayat Raj on 24th of October.
In terms of Rule 102-A of the Jammu & Kashmir Panchayati Raj Rules, 1996, the Government in Rural Development Department J&K has issued the Notification calling upon all the Panchs and Sarpanchs to elect Chairpersons of the Block Development Councils vide its SRO No 540 dated 20th September, 2019.The election is being held at a time, when major political party leaders and workers have been taken into the preventive custody after the special status to Jammu and Kashmir.