MCC comes into effect; Panchayat by-polls to 12,500 seats from Mar 5

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 2/14/2020 4:50:40 PM

Polls to be held in 8 phases: CEO

JAMMU, Feb 13: More than six months after the Centre abrogated Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, the Election Commission (EC) on Thursday announced to hold panchayat by-elections to fill over 12,500 vacant seats in the region from March 5 to March 20. Polling will be held in eight phases.
The announcement in this connection was made here on Thursday by the Union Territory’s Chief Electoral Officer Shailender Kumar. The process for filling 11,639 panch seats and 1,011 sarpanch seats will completed by March 26, he said. Ballots would be used for casting votes, he said.
The Model Code of Conduct has come into force with immediate effect will the announcement of the by-poll schedule.
After taking into consideration all relevant factors and inputs from various stakeholders, the Jammu and Kashmir election authority has prepared the schedule for the by-polls to panchayat halqas and panch wards. Issuance of the first notification would be on February 15, Kumar said.
The first phase of the by-polls will be held on March 5, followed by second on March 7, third on March 9, fourth on March 12, fifth on March 14, sixth on March 16, seventh on March 18 and last on March 20, he said.
The Chief Electoral Officer said, “Ballot boxes would be used during these elections. Sufficient numbers of ballot boxes have been made available for the purpose.”
The Panchayat election was held in November-December, 2018, and 22,214 panches and 3,459 sarpanches were elected in out of 33,592 panch and 4,290 sarpanch constituencies.
Further vacancies have accrued on various accounts such as deaths and resignations. Also as a result of polls to block development committee (BDCs) chairpersons in October, 2019, another 307 seats of panch and sarpanch fell vacant, Kumar said.
He said that the candidates elected during these by-elections shall hold office for the remainder of the period of five years commencing from the date of constitution of Halqa Panchayat.
The panchayat bypolls would be videographed and district panchayat election officers (deputy commissioners) will arrange sufficient numbers of video and digital cameras and teams for the purpose, the chief electoral officer said.
In order to enable Kashmiri migrant voters to exercise their franchise through postal ballots, ‘Migrant Postal Ballot’ scheme was notified for the 2018 panchayat elections, he added.
“From now onwards, the Model Code of Conduct is enforced and it will be implementable in all the places where elections are being held. There will be eight phases of elections. For Jammu division, it is four phases and for Kashmir division, it is eight phases," he said. Kumar said that no request has been received over the conducting of polls in Ladakh.
“Union Territory of Ladakh has not yet sent us a request for the conduct of elections so we have not included Ladakh. In any case, Ladakh is snow-bound and it is very cold out there. So, it is not feasible to have an election at this point in time,” he stated.
This will be the first major political exercise in Jammu and Kashmir after the central government had abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution, which granted special status to the region and bifurcated the erstwhile state into two UTs -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
As per the schedule, the elections would be held for 25 vacant Panchayat Halqas and 768 vacant Panch Constituencies of 21 blocks of Kupwara district, 148 vacant Panchayat Halqas and 2163 vacant Panch Constituencies of 26 blocks of Baramulla district, 45 vacant Panchayat Halqas and 603 vacant Panch Constituencies of 9 blocks of Bandipora district, 41 vacant Panchayat Halqas and 685 vacant Panch Constituencies of 7 blocks of Ganderbal district, 9 vacant Panchayat Halqas and 155 vacant Panch Constituencies of 4 blocks of Srinagar district, 157 vacant Panchayat Halqas and 1941 vacant Panch Constituencies of 17 blocks of Budgam district, 151 vacant Panchayat Halqas and 1437 vacant Panch Constituencies of 11 blocks of Pulwama district, 73 vacant Panchayat Halqas and 742 vacant Panch Constituencies of 9 blocks of Shopian district, 103 vacant Panchayat Halqas and 968 vacant Panch Constituencies of 8 blocks of Ganderbal district, vacant Panchayat Halqas and 685 vacant Panch Constituencies of 7 blocks of Kulgam district and 135 vacant Panchayat Halqas and 1995 vacant Panch Constituencies of 16 blocks of Anantnag district. Thus, in Kashmir division elections to a total of 887 vacant Panchayat halqas and 11457 vacant Panch Constituencies of 128 blocks would be conducted.
In Jammu division, the elections would be held for 10 vacant Panchayat Halqas and 9 vacant Panch Constituencies of 11 blocks of Kishtwar district, 16 vacant Panchayat Halqas and 17 vacant Panch Constituencies of 17 blocks of Doda district, 10 vacant Panchayat Halqas and 19 vacant Panch Constituencies of 11 blocks of Ramban district, 16 vacant Panchayat Halqas and 15 vacant Panch Constituencies of 17 blocks of Udhampur district, 9 vacant Panchayat Halqas and 14 vacant Panch Constituencies of 12 blocks of Reasi district, 19 vacant Panchayat Halqas and 19 vacant Panch Constituencies of 19 blocks of Kathua district, 5 vacant Panchayat Halqas and 20 vacant Panch Constituencies of 9 blocks of Samba district, 15 vacant Panchayat Halqas and 25 vacant Panch Constituencies of 20 blocks of Jammu district, 16 vacant Panchayat Halqas and 26 vacant Panch Constituencies of 19 blocks of Rajouri district and 8 vacant Panchayat Halqas and 18 vacant Panch Constituencies of 11 blocks of Poonch district. Thus, in Jammu division elections to a total of 1011 vacant Panchayat halqas and 11639 vacant Panch Constituencies of 274 blocks would be conducted.
According to schedule for holding Panchayat By-Elections 2020 in Panchayat Halqas and Panch Wards of J&K prepared by the Election Authority of J&K, for Phase-I the date of issuance of Gazette Notification would be 15-02-2020, last date for making nomination would be 22-02-20, date of scrutiny would be 24-02-2020, last date for withdrawal of candidature would be 26-02-2020 while 05-03-2020 would be the date of Poll wherever necessary.
For Phase-II the date of issuance of Gazette Notification would be 17-02-2020, last date for making nomination would be 24-02-2020, date of scrutiny would be 25-02-2020, last date for withdrawal of candidature would be 27-02-2020 while 07-03-2020 would be the date of Poll wherever necessary.
For Phase III, the date of issuance of Gazette Notification would be 19-02-2020, last date for making nomination would be 26-02-2020, date of scrutiny would be 27-02-2020, last date for withdrawal of candidature would be 29-02-2020 while 09-03-2020 would be the date of Poll wherever necessary.
For Phase IV, the date of issuance of Gazette Notification would be 22-02-2020, last date for making nomination would be 29-02-2020, date of scrutiny would be 02-03-2020, last date for withdrawal of candidature would be 04-03-2020 while 12-03-2020 would be the date of Poll wherever necessary.
For Phase V, the date of issuance of Gazette Notification would be 24-02-2020, last date for making nomination would be 02-03-2020, date of scrutiny would be 03-03-2020, last date for withdrawal of candidature would be 05-03-2020 while 14-03-2020 would be the date of Poll wherever necessary.
For Phase VI, the date of issuance of Gazette Notification would be 26-02-2020, last date for making nomination would be 04-03-2020, date of scrutiny would be 05-03-2020, last date for withdrawal of candidature would be 07-03-2020 while 16-03-2020 would be the date of Poll wherever necessary.
For Phase VII, the date of issuance of Gazette Notification would be 28-02-2020, last date for making nomination would be 06-03-2020, date of scrutiny would be 07-03-2020, last date for withdrawal of candidature would be 09-03-2020 while 18-03-2020 would be the date of Poll wherever necessary.
For Phase VIII, the date of issuance of Gazette Notification would be 29-02-2020, last date for making nomination would be 07-03-2020, date of scrutiny would be 09-03-2020, last date for withdrawal of candidature would be 11-03-2020 while 20-03-2020 would be the date of Poll wherever necessary.
The Polling Hours shall be from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM while the counting of votes shall be taken up on the day of poll unless notified otherwise, followed by announcement of the results.

 

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