Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat polls to be held in 8 phases from March 5-19
Srinagar, Feb 13: Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat elections will be held from March 5, making it the first major political exercise in the valley after the government scrapped Article 370 and split it into two union territories.
"Panchayat elections for vacant posts of every block will be held using ballot boxes. It will be conducted in eight phases," said Jammu and Kashmir's Chief Electoral Officer Shailendra Kumar.
"First phase of elections will be held on 5th March, second phase on 7th March, 3rd phase on 9th March, fourth phase on 12th March, fifth phase on 14th March, sixth phase on 16th March, seventh phase on 18th March& 8th phase on 20th March," he said.
"Union territory of Ladakh has not yet sent us request for conduct of elections so we've not included Ladakh. In any case, Ladakh is snow-bound and it is very cold out there. So it is not feasible to have election at this point of time," he added.
"The model code conduct has come into forces in Jammu and Kashmir," he added.
There are 13,161 vacancies in Panchayats across the Union Territory.
The announcement of the election comes even as three former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti continue to be in detention.
The posts were lying vacant since November 2018. Out of Kashmir's 20,093 panch and sarpanch seats, more than 12,500 seats have remained vacant since then.
Jammu and Kashmir is now governed by the Centre which has appointed GC Murmu as the Lieutenant Governor to look after the affairs of the union territory.