Tribune News Service
Jammu, February 13
In a first major electoral exercise after the abrogation of Article 370, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shailendra Kumar on Thursday announced eight-phase panchayat byelections to fill 12,650 seats in the union territory.
The elections will be held for 11,639 vacant seats for panches and 1,011 for sarpanches in 20 districts of the UT between March 5 and March 20.
Interestingly, panchayat elections will be held on a party basis this time. The elections in 2018 during Governor’s rule were conducted on a non-party basis. Due to non-participation of people in many parts of the state following terror threats, a large number of panchayat seats had remained vacant.
Addressing a press conference, CEO Shailendra Kumar said a majority of the seats for which elections will be held are in the Kashmir valley. “After taking into consideration all relevant factors and inputs from various stakeholders, elections will be held between March 5 and March 20. The first notification will be issued on February 15,” Kumar said.
The polls will be held on March 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 20. The voting will be from 9 am to 1 pm. The counting of votes will be held on the same day and the results will be declared by the evening.
Pulwama Memorial unveiling today
The CRPF will dedicate a martyrs’ column on Friday to the memory of the 40 jawans killed in the Pulwama suicide attack. The martyrs’ column is located close to the scene of the attack.
Deadliest attack yet to find closure
The Pulwama attack has not found its closure as yet. The attack, listed as the deadliest strike against security forces in 30-year militancy in Kashmir, left 40 CRPF men dead.
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