Local polls more important than Article 35-A debate: J&K Governor

Srinagar: As the National Conference (NC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said that they will boycott the municipal elections and panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir, the governor has apparently told both the parties that given the state’s situation, its not the right time to take a position on Article 35A or Article 370.

The newly appointed Jammu and Kashmir governor Satyapal Malik has reasoned that currently, Jammu and Kashmir government is not an elected government, The Indian Express reported.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had told the Supreme Court on 31 August that even a debate or discussion on Article 35A will have serious repercussions on law and order. He also said that if the local body elections are not held, it will affect the Finance Commission’s Rs 4,000 crore grant.

According to The Indian Express, a government official has said that this is the only window the state has for the local body elections, till April next year.

As per the schedule, more than 40,000 panchayat seats and 1,140 wards will go to polls in an election this October and November. The last time panchayat polls were conducted in the state was in 2011 while the elections for the municipal body took place last in 2005.

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