Kashmir cabinet panel to meet Saturday over panchayat pollsBy IANS
Friday, January 28, 2011
JAMMU - A cabinet sub-committee of the Jammu and Kashmir government is to meet here Saturday to decide on the panchayat polls dates and also take a call on whether to bring the state at par with the Panchayati Raj system in the rest of India or go ahead with the existing set-up.
This decision was taken by the state cabinet here Friday amid differences between the ruling alliance partners National Conference and Congress on the issue, official sources told IANS.
While the National Conference wants the state to go ahead with the existing system of holding panchayat elections at the village level, the Congress is in favour of the state constitution being amended to incorporate elections at block and district levels as well to ensure full empowerment of the people at the grassroots level.
The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) too is in favour of amending the constitution. Party president Mehbooba Mufti has declared that it would not participate in the polls if the “necessary amendments are not made”.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has constituted a cabinet sub-committee and asked it to submit its report on the issue.
The panel would also suggest the probable dates for the panchayat polls being held in Jammu and Kashmir after a gap of seven years, the sources said.
The cabinet sub-committee will meet here Saturday under the chairmanship of state Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather. Other members of the panel are Rural Development Minister Ali Mohammad Sagar, Agriculture Minister Ghulam Hassan Mir, Health Minister Sham Lal Sharma and Public Health Engineering Minister Taj Mohi-ud-Din.