Amid uncertainty, state set to go to BDC polls on Oct 24 -
Amid uncertainty, state set to go to BDC polls on Oct 24
Posted 30 Sep 2019 11:19 AM

As the Valley continues to remain on the edge post the scrapping of the special status, the grass roots democracy in the state got a major fillip on Sunday as the state government announced the schedule for holding elections to the second tier of the panchayat elections in the state.

The election for the 310 block development councils (BDCs) will be held in a single phase on October 24 and on the same day the counting of votes will be done. The entire poll process will be completed by November 5.
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), J&K, Shailendra Kumar, at a press briefing in Srinagar said the election for the 310 chairpersons of the BDCs would be held on party lines. The election to the BDCs assumes significance as the state is under the President’s rule with most of the mainstream politicians, including three former Chief Ministers, behind bars.

When asked how the election authorities will ensure free and fair polls when most of the politicians were behind bars, Kumar said, “As and when a political party approaches us for ensuring level playing field, we will respond to it. We will be responsive”.

The panchayat polls were held in October-November last year across the state and over 26,000 panchayat members were elected. The elections were held on non-party basis.

Kumar said requisite security arrangement would be put in place for the elections. “The government will put in place adequate security during the elections,” he said “As far as I know there are two panches who have been arrested (after August 5) and like any other elections, they will be able to vote,” he said.

He said 12,052 posts of panchayat members were vacant in the Kashmir division. That is 60 per cent of all seats in the Valley. No candidate was available in these villages in the face of boycott by mainstream parties like the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party and threats by militants.

In figures

316 Number of blocks

18,316 Male electors

8,313 Female electors

26,629 Total electors

*Ballot boxes to be used during elections

Election schedule

Date of issue of gazette notification: Oct 1

Last date for filing of nominations : Oct 9

Date of scrutiny of nominations: Oct 10

Last date for candidature withdrawal: Oct 11

Date of polls and counting: Oct 24

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