The bypolls to panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir, earlier scheduled from 5 March, have been postponed due to security reasons, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shailendra Kumar said on Tuesday.
By-elections to over 12,500 panchayat seats in Jammu and Kashmir were scheduled to be held in eight phases from 5 March.
ANI quoted an official statement as saying, "Notifications dated 15th & 17th February issued for Phase 1 and 2 (Panchayat by-elections) respectively and the schedule issued on 13th February for other phases of Panchayat by-elections are hereby withdrawn. After addressing all the concerns suitable at the earliest, possibly in 2-3 weeks, fresh schedule shall be notified."
The official notification cites "credible inputs from the law enforcement agencies" as the reason for deferring the polls.
The eight-phase poll was earlier scheduled to be held from 5 March to 20 March on a party basis. The polling was slated for 5 March, 7 March, 9 March, 12 March, 14 March, 16 March, 18 March and 20 March.
According to NDTV, Opposition parties told the Chief Electoral Officer in Jammu that there can only be a level playing field when its leaders are released from detention.
On Monday, senior Congress leader GA Mir had said that the party is ready to take part in the by-elections to panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir if its leaders are released and their free movement is ensured.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Feb 18, 2020 22:50:55 IST