J&K to soon appoint State Election Commissioner

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Former CS BR Sharma frontrunner

Nasir Azam

Amid indications that Panchayat polls in Jammu & Kashmir would be held in October- November this year, the administration of Jammu & Kashmir Union Territory would soon appoint the State Election Commissioner (SEC), sources disclosed.

Sources told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that Jammu & Kashmir’s former Chief Secretary BR Sharma could be appointed as State Election Commissioner. The post of SEC fell vacant on February 01, 2023 when K.K. Sharma completed his term.

BR Sharma, who served as Chief Secretary of J&K from  2015 to 2017, has also expertise in election-related matters as he served the  erstwhile state’s chief electoral officer (CEO) during 2008 Assembly elections which saw impressive voter turnout.

Under the Constitution of India, the State Election Commission is empowered to conduct polls for all three-tiers of Panchayati Raj system.

As per Jammu & Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989, the State Election Commissioner is appointed by the Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory whenever Jammu & Kashmir is under the President’s Rule under section 73 of Jammu & Kashmir Reorganization Act.

In times of elected government, the SEC is appointed by LG on recommendation of a committee comprising chief minister, leader of Opposition, speaker of legislative assembly, a senior minister to be nominated by chief minister and minister incharge Panchayats.

There are possibilities that Panchayat polls in Jammu & Kashmir could be held in October- November this year as their five-year term is ending on January 9, 2024.

While the term of Panchayats and block development councils would end on January 09, 2024, the district development councils could also face dissolution with them

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