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Congress announces boycott of BDC elections in Jammu and Kashmir over detention of leaders

Earlier on Tuesday, the election authorities had issued a notification for the election of chairpersons of Block Development Councils (BDC) in the 310 blocks of Jammu and Kashmir. The elections will be held on October 24.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: October 09, 2019 14:04 IST
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Image Source : PTI

Congress announces boycott of BDC elections in Jammu and Kashmir

The Congress party will boycott the local body election in Jammu and Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir Congress Chief GA Mir on Wednesday, adding the move comes in protest against the detention of leaders post abrogation of Article 370. Addressing a press conference, GA Mir said the Election Commission of India should have consulted with political parties with several state leaders still under detention.

"We won't participate in the BDC election. How can political parties take part when leaders are under detention? The EC should have consulted political parties before announcing block development council election," GA Mir said on Wednesday.

Congress leader Mir said the party would have participated if the administration had released political leaders. "This election is being held to facilitate the victory of only one party. Our party leaders are not even being provided security," Mir said.

Earlier on Tuesday, the election authorities had issued a notification for the election of chairpersons of Block Development Councils (BDC) in the 310 blocks of Jammu and Kashmir. The elections will be held on October 24, Chief Electoral Officer Shailendra Kumar had said while issuing the notification.

According to the notification, the last date for filing of nominations will be October 9, while the scrutiny of nominations will be done on October 10. The last date for withdrawal is October 11.

Polling will be held on October 24 from 9 am to 1 pm. The counting of votes will begin at 3.00 pm on the same day, Kumar said.

The poll process for the second tier of the Panchayati Raj system will be completed by November 5, he said.

The elections will be held on party basis and 26,629 panchs and sarpanchs are eligible to vote and contest for the post of BDC chairpersons, Kumar said.

Nearly 24 per cent (12,766) of the posts of panchs and sarpanchs are vacant due to various reasons, including resignations, deaths and non-conduct of the polls during the exercise held last winter, he said.

Over 18,000 panchs and sarpanchs are eligible to take part in the election in the Jammu division. The Kashmir division has only 7,528 elected panchs and sarpanchs, Kumar said.

He said in the Jammu region, there will be 2,703 voters in Jammu district, 2,687 in Rajouri, 2,069 in Poonch, 893 in Samba, 2,186 in Kathua, 2,072 In Udhampur, 1,339 in Reasi, 1,150 in Ramban, 1,900 in Doda and 1,016 in Kishtwar.

In the Ladakh region, there will have 841 voters in Kargil and 744 in Leh. In the Kashmir region, there will be 2,783 voters in Kupwara, 1,450 in Baramulla, 584 in Bandipora, 374 in Ganderbal, 43 in Srinagar, 650 in Budgam, 132 in Pulwama, 82 in Shopian, 168 in Kulgam and 763 in Anantnag.

As many as 69 BDC chairpersons' posts have been reserved for Scheduled Tribe candidates, including 21 women, 25 posts for Scheduled Castes (seven women) and 78 posts for women from the general category, he said.

Elections will be held for 310 of the 316 blocks in the state.

Elections could not be held in two blocks, while there are no women in four blocks reserved for women candidates, the CEO said.

In November 2012, the National Conference-Congress government headed by Omar Abdullah had announced elections to 143 BDCs and the panchayat elections were held in May-June 2011 by the then government.

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