Sunday, September 27, 2020
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CPI(M) questions timing of Panchayat by-polls

Jammu, February 14 (Scoop News)- Stating that political situation in Jammu and Kashmir was not conducive for holding by-elections for panchayats, CPI (M) Secretary G N Malik said at a time when most of the political leaders are under detention or their movements have been curtailed, such exercise will not yield the desired results.
Political leaders, including three former chief ministers, are either under detention or their activities are curtail since August 5 when the Central government took a unilateral decision to revoke J&K’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution. The government should have taken into consideration the ground realities before announcing the schedule for the panchayat by-polls.
Also elections for these 12650 vacant seats of Panchayats spread over all 20 districts in J&K are being held on party basis, unlike the Panchayat polls in November-December 2018 which were held on non-party basis. J&K Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) needs to clarify why the polls are being held on party basis this time when in the past such elections were held on non-party basis?
The panchayat raj system is being turned into a controversy and its election is linked with narrow partisan political considerations. There is need to empower grass-roots institutions in Jammu and Kashmir and it will happen only by the massive participation of people in the election exercise.
In November-December 2018, when the polls were held, the dismal voter turn out sort of eroded the credibility of the Panchayat institutions. Need of the hour is maximum participation of voters in the exercise which seems difficult in the prevailing situation.
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