The Apex Committee will consider security, logistics, personnel, equipment while assessing the ground-level situation

The Jammu and Kashmir government has formed an apex level and two divisional level committees to draw a roadmap and detailed schedule for conducting elections to vacant panchayats and block development councils (BDC) in two divisions of the Union Territory.

“The Apex level Committee would do its exercise based on inputs provided by the Divisional Level Committees and upon assessment of the ground-level situation taking security, logistics, personnel, equipment into consideration. The Apex Committee will be headed by Principal Secretary to the Government, Home Department,’’ said a Hindustan Times report quoting the government order.

The order further noted that the Divisional Level Committees in J&K will submit an outline of the possibilities and constraints to the Apex Level Committee for holding Panchayat and BDC elections on September 21 and Apex Level Committee will hand over its report to the government by September 28, according to the report.

The panchayat elections to be held in March this year, for the vacant 11,639 seats in Jammu and Kashmir was scheduled to be held in eight phases and the government had issued notification for filling those vacancies. However, apprehending trouble and on inputs from security agencies, J&K’s Chief Electoral Officer had postponed the polls.

The last panchayat elections were held in J&K in 2018; however, despite the polls, more than 60 percent of seats in Kashmir remained vacant as at many places candidates did not file the nomination papers or resigned after getting elected.

In the last panchayat polls, prominent mainstream political parties - National Conference and Congress didn’t participate.

Read the full report in Hindustan Times