AJKPC hits out at poll panel over delay in local body elections in J&K

TNN Bureau. Updated: 11/21/2023 2:12:56 AM Front Page

Jammu: The All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC) on Monday accused the state election commission of delaying the conduct of local body polls and alleged it was functioning as "extension and subordinate department" of the government.
The AJKPC, a representative body of panchayati raj institutions, also opposed any move by the government to transfer the process of budget planning for the next financial year from the panchayats and block development councils (BDCs) to the district development councils as the term of both existing BDCs and panchayats would cease to exist in the first week of January 2024.
"We are critical of the role of the Jammu and Kashmir State Election Commission. It has gone into hibernation...," AJKPC president Anil Sharma told reporters here.
He said the commission is silent on the conduct of local body elections though the term of existing bodies is about to end.
He said that the commission should act as an "autonomous and independent body" but was functioning as "an extension and subordinate department of the government".
"Our organisation is strongly opposing the reported proposal of the government, wherein it has been stated that planning of the Panchayats and Block Development Councils (BDCs) for next financial year of 2024-25 will shift to the District Development Councils (DDCs) as the term of both existing BDCs and Panchayats would cease to exist in first week of January-2024," he said.
Sharma said the organisation condemns any such move of the government.
"Any such move would reverse the principle of democracy and move towards centralisation of power instead of decentralising it," he said.

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