Even as the deadlock continues between BJP-PDP on the formation of the government in Jammu and Kashmir, the preparations for municipal and panchayat polls seems to be in the final stage. They are likely to be held for in month of May and June, respectively.
According to The Indian Express, Governor N N Vohra while chairing a meeting of the State Administrative Council directed the Cheif Electoral Officer to prepare for conducting municipal polls after nearly 11 years during the fisrt week of May.
But the final announcement of the poll dates will be made by the election department only after Vohra’s meeting with the representatives of major political parties next week.
The governor noted that holding of timely elections to the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) will enable the state to derive maximum benefit from the 14th Finance Commission Award, which provides about Rs 5,480 crore for the decentralised democratic framework.
This includes Rs 1, 305.64 crore for the municipalities and Rs 3, 463.73 crore for panchayats and Rs 261.13 crore as Performance Grants for them, respectively.
In the past, it has been noted that the state had lost Rs 169 crore for not conducting ULB polls.
According to sources, EVMs may be used for the first time during the municipal elections. In the state there are two Municipal Corporations- one each in Srinagar and Jammu, besides six municipal Councils and 72 Municipal Committees in the state.
The state has over 3,200 panchayats headed by an equal number of Sarpanches and nearly 30,000 panches.