Panchayat by-polls: CEO J-K calls for crucial meet with political parties on Tuesday

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Srinagar: Amid demands and queries from mainstream camp over the release of leadership ahead of Panchayat by-elections, the Election Commission (EC) will hold a meeting with political parties tomorrow (Tuesday) to hear their grievances.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shailendra Kumar said that he has called a meeting of political parties tomorrow (Tuesday) following the statements given by mainstream leaders over the elections.

Almost all the political parties here have raised the query about the continuous detention of their leadership, saying that how can they contest the elections when the leadership mandated to sign the nomination papers have been put under continuous detention and booked under Public Safety Act (PSA).

Kumar when asked about the demands said that he has called a meeting of political parties tomorrow to redress their issues. “Any issue they (political parties) want to bring into my notice, I will definitely address that,” he told.

However, sources said that an order was also issued in this regard, which stated that the leadership including president and General Secretary of any party who are mandated to sign the nomination papers can authorize any person (leader of the party) to do the formalities.

The Election Commission (EC) on last Thursday announced by-elections for over 12500 vacant Panchayat seats in Jammu and Kashmir, saying that eight-phased polls will be conducted from 5 March to 20 March.

Kumar while addressing a presser had said that elections for the vacant 12,565 Panchayat seats will be held in eight phases. “The first phase of polling will take place on 5 March, while the second phase is scheduled for 7 March. The third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eight phases of voting will take place on 9, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 20 March respectively,” he said.

The Panchayat by-elections in Jammu and Kashmir will be held on party-basis. (KNO)

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