Jammu and Kashmir chief secretary BVR has rubbished media reports that the state municipal and panchayat polls may be deferred after Omar Abdullah’s National Conference and Mehbooba Mufti’s Peoples Democratic Party pulled out of the panchayat polls and urban local body polls over Article 35A controversy. His remarks come hours after some media reports claimed that the panchayat polls and urban local body polls will be held in January. The Jammu and Kashmir official made this remark on the sidelines of an event at Sheri Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC).
The municipal elections in Jammu and Kashmir are expected to begin from October 1. On the other hand, the panchayat elections would from November 8 to December 4, in eight phases. Both NC and PDP want Centre to clear its stand on Article 35A of the Constitution, which grants special rights to citizens of Jammu and Kashmir as it disallows people from outside the state from buying or owning immovable property in the state.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court had deferred hearing of a slew of petitions which have challenged the constitutional validity of Article 35A at the request of Centre and Jammu and Kashmir. However, the BJP has made it clear that it will take part in municipal and panchayat elections, saying that both NC and PDP don’t believe in the democratic process.
It comes amid reports that the State Advisory Council (SAC) headed by Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Satya Pal Malik may take a decision on the upcoming Jammu and Kashmir local body elections 2018 today.