Jammu & Kashmir: 1,089 Sarpanch and 12,168 Panch positions to be filled, non- functional Panchayats to be functional

Report from Kamran Rashid Bhat

Srinagar: The Administrative Council which met under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, today approved the proposal of the Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj to issue a notification for conducting elections to vacant Sarpanch/Panch constituencies. The detailed schedule will be finalised by the election authorities.

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Filling of the vacant constitutional posts will ensure devolution of powers and proper grass root planning in the 3rd-tier of the Local Self Government. It will ensure that the non-functional Panchayats become functional.

Earlier, general elections to 39,521 Sarpanch/Panch constituencies in 4,483 Halqa Panchayats were conducted in 2018 of which 13,257 positions are vacant due to resignation, removal, election of Sarpanch as BDC Chairpersons, death, and non-availability of candidates at the time of election. Among them, 1,089 vacancies pertain to the office of Sarpanch, whereas 12,168 are Panch vacancies.

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Pertinently, the elections to the vacancies notified earlier were postponed due to security concerns and the onset of COVID-19.

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