SRINAGAR: Encouraged by the successful conduct of civic polls, the Jammu and Kashmir government is bracing up for another challenge — holding Panchayat elections in the state.
"We may go for Panchayat elections in November or December this year", said Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed, minister of rural development and panchayats. "We had passed the bill to advance the polls by six months but the governor did not give his assent".
The term of the existing panchayats in the state ends in February next year but the state government wanted to hold early elections in a bid to cash in on the ceasefire at the borders and the thaw in Indo-Pak relations.
The decision has evoked sharp criticisms from the main opposition party, the National Conference.
"The existing panchayats are democratically elected and there is no rationale in dissolving them prematurely", said Dr Mehboob Beig, provincial president of the National Conference.