The elections to the six vacancies of the Legislative Council from the Panchayats and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) would get delayed after state election commission (SEC) said that the polls to the seats of upper house would take time.
Out of the six seats, four are reserved for Panchayats- two each for Kashmir and Jammu divisions. Two other seats are reserved for Municipalities.
The elected members of Municipal Corporations, Councils and Committees across the State comprises the electoral college for two seats of MLCs from ULB quota, while Sarpanchs and Panchs form the electoral college for elections to four seats of the MLCs from Panchayat quota.
According to the sources even as Ladakh is now a separate division, the elected members of Municipalities and Panchayats from Leh and Kargil district could vote for the Kashmir division seats.
The four seats of Panchayats felt vacant after Shehnaz Ganaie, Ali Mohammad Dar , Sham Lal Bhagat and Ghulam Nabi Monga completed their term in December last year while as seats under Urban Local Bodies are vacant since 2011.
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Shailendra Kumar, told Rising Kashmir that the work about the election of legislative councils for Panchayats and ULBs is going on, but added that it would take time.
“Elections would not be held immediately. There are requirements related to the percentage of seats and we are working out the percentage of seats which have already been filled and the percentage of vacant seats. After the assessment is made, we would be able to decide whether there is a need to hold these elections or not," he said.
Earlier, there were reports that legislative Council seats will be filled only after the Block Development Council elections but state election commission has rejected such reports stating that government is yet to notify it about the requirement of BDC elections.
Joint Chief Electoral Officer ( JCEO), Raman Kumar Kesar, said that the Commission is yet to initiate the process for holding the BDC elections in the state as they have not received any directions from the government.
"We have not started any process for BDC elections. Same is the case with filling up of these six seats," he said.
Earlier this year, the State Administrative Council (SAC) headed by Governor, Satya Pal Malik had approved the holding of elections for the Legislative Council including four from Panchayats and two from Municipalities quota, which were vacant due to delay in holding of Panchayat and Urban Local Bodies elections in the State.
The decision was taken following the elections to Municipalities which were held after 13 years and Panchayats after seven years.
The state Legislative Council has strength of 36 seats, out of which 28 are elected members and eight are nominated. Currently LC has strength of 22 after eight MLCs completed their term on March 16 this year, but these vacancies couldn’t be filled in the absence of Legislative Assembly.
Of the eight MLCs, who completed their term in March this year, three each belonged to People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Congress and one each to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and National Conference.
Out of 22 members of Legislative Council, BJP has 10 members followed by eight of PDP, three from National Conference and one from the Congress.