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Decks cleared for panchayat polls in J&K

The panchayat polls were due last year but due to the unrest, were postponed indefinitely.

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NN Vohra
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Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra has set the ball rolling for holding panchayat elections in the state in the winter of 2017-18.

The panchayat polls were due last year but due to the unrest, were postponed indefinitely. However, Vohra promulgated the ordinance so that no time whatsoever is lost in commencing preparations for the conduct of the pending elections.

"The Governor observed that the establishment of the PRI set-up shall ensure effective participation of the people in the decision making process and enable them to oversee the implementation of developmental programmes," an official spokesman said.

Governor has been pressing for the early conduct of elections to both the urban and rural self-governing bodies since summer of 2016 . "The Panchayat elections are now envisaged to be held in winter 2017-18," the spokesman said.

Considering the time-frame for the forthcoming elections the Governor has also consented to the issue of the J&K Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Ordinance 2017 to empower the State Chief Electoral Officer to determine and de-limit Halqa (block) panchayats and to conduct the Panchayat elections.

Seen as one of the biggest achievement of the Omar Abdullah government, the panchayat elections were held in 2011 after 33 years hiatus in Jammu and Kashmir. More than 80 per cent people had defied terrorists and cast their votes in the panchayat elections in 2011.

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