Urban local body and panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir, which have not been organised for several years, will be held from September this year, Governor NN Vohra said on Wednesday. Elections to urban local bodies will take place in September-October while the phased panchayat polls will be held in October-December, he said.
"Elections to urban local bodies and panchayats have been pending for long. The prolonged delay in the establishment of democratically-elected self-governing bodies at the grassroots level in urban and rural areas has resulted in the loss of considerable funds which would have become available if elections had been held," Vohra said in his Independence Day speech at Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium in Srinagar.
Actions are being taken by his department to ensure adequate funds, delegation of administrative and financial authority, deployment of required staff and logistical support is provided to municipalities and panchayats as soon as they are established, Vohra said.
"Soon after assuming responsibility, the governor's administration has taken the required steps for organising elections to panchayats and municipalities. Necessary amendments to the existing laws have already been made and speedy action is underway to gear-up the administrative and logistical arrangements for undertaking both these elections," he said.
"I would appeal to the leaders of all political parties in the state to provide full support to the administration to improve efficiency and accountability in every arena of functioning and to lend their valuable support towards engendering an environment in which the forthcoming elections to municipalities and panchayats produce a positive outcome,” he said.
"This would, in turn, pave the way for the restoration of peace and normalcy and enable the state to take on bigger challenges," he added.
The last panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir were held in 2011. The urban local body elections have not been held for nearly eight years.