Ready for Assembly polls, final decision by ECI: Guv

ARVIND SHARMA. Updated: 1/12/2019 11:52:20 AM Front Page

JAMMU: Clearing the haze a little over the Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, Governor Satya Pal Malik on Friday said that the state administration was “ready for the elections” in the state but maintained that the call in this regard “should be taken” by the Election Commission of India (ECI).

Malik said that as and when the Election Commission of India (ECI) decides to hold Assembly elections in the state under Governor’s rule, followed by President’s rule, his administration is ready for that.

“The decision to hold Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir is to be taken by the Election Commission of India (ECI) and whenever they (Election Commission of India) tell us to hold elections here, we are ready for that,” the Governor said on the sidelines of the oath ceremony of the sarpanches of Jammu region.

Pertinently, Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, earlier this month in the Parliamnet, had said that the central government will have no objection if the Election Commission of India wants to hold Assembly polls in J&K along with Lok Sabha elections. He said the Centre was ready to provide security forces whenever the Election Commission holds elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

Rajnath had said that the central government is not opposed to the idea of holding the Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections along with the general elections in 2019, if the Election Commission decides so.

The Election Commission (EC) had, in November last, said that the fresh elections in Jammu and Kashmir would be held within the next six months, but did not rule out the possibility of holding the state polls before the Lok Sabha polls due this year.

“The Jammu and Kashmir assembly polls must be held on the first occasion before May. It could be held before the parliamentary elections also,” Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat had said.

The Governor, over IAS officer Shah Faesal’s resignation, said that he himself was a government employee and therefore, did not wish to comment on the matter.

Earlier, the Governor Satya Pal Malik, while addressing the sarpanchs and panchs at the jam packed Gulshan Ground, Jammu, assured full co-operation to them in undertaking development works in their respective wards and fulfilling the people’s aspirations.

He congratulated the sarpanches on being elected as representatives of their respective panchayats. He observed that the Panchayati Raj Institutions can truly represent and fulfill the developmental aspirations of people due to direct participation of people in planning development of their areas and implementing government welfare schemes under close monitoring.

Governor complimented sarpanchs and panchs for their whole hearted participation in the panchayat elections which were held after a gap of 7 years and saw a voter turnout of 74.1 %.

Governor observed that major amendments in the Panchayati Raj Act have been incorporated through which the government intends massive devolution of funds, functions and functionaries of 19 departments to the Panchayati Raj Institutions.

He advised the sarpanches to use funds judiciously and urged them to ensure development which is in sync with the natural environment.

Governor assured every possible support of his administration to the sarpanches and panches and observed that planned development of any area would be done in consensus with the panches and sarpnaches of respective panchyats.

Governor emphasized upon the sarpanches to ensure that institutions responsible for ensuring primary health and education at grass root level are strengthened and attention is given to develop sports infrastructure at the village level with opportunities to youth to explore their capabilities to the maximum.

Asserting that the Kashmiri youth has not much to do in the evening, Malik said he asked authorities to build a playground in every village of the state.

"The youth has nothing to do after 6 pm even in Srinagar city. They do not have a cinema hall, cafes or a place to go out for entertainment," Malilk said in his address.

The Governor said that he has instructed its deputy commissioners to ensure carving out of playgrounds in every village. He also announced to set up two international stadiums in Jammu and Srinagar.

Khurshid Ahmad Ganai, Advisor to Governor, congratulated the sarpanches on their election and advised Sheetal Nanda, Secretary, Rural Development to print multilingual literature for ready reference of elected panches and sarpanches regarding their roles and responsibilities.

K Vijay Kumar, Advisor to Governor, also congratulated all the sarpanches on their successful election and advised them to work for the development of their areas as per people’s aspirations.

Sheetal Nanda, Secretary, Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj assured her department’s full co-operation to the panchayats and informed them about their training programmes which will be shortly conducted department.

Earlier, Governor visited the stalls put up by the government departments for generating awareness about the various central and state government welfare schemes.

A short film on panchayat elections was screened on the occasion.
Updated On 1/12/2019 11:52:39 AM

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