BJP urges J&K party workers to gear up for upcoming panchayat bypolls

Jammu, Feb 14 (PTI) BJP's J&K unit president Ravinder Raina on Friday asked party workers to gear up for the upcoming bypolls for over 12,500 panchayat seats in the Union Territory next month.

By-election for over 12,500 panchayat seats in Jammu and Kashmir would be held in eight phases from March 5, J&K Chief Electoral Officer Shailender Kumar said on Thursday.

Polling would be held from March 5 to March 20, using ballots to cast votes, he said.

'The BJP is ready to contest Panchayat elections in Jammu & Kashmir,' Raina said while chairing a meeting of UT's senior party leaders at the party headquarters here to plan its strategy for the upcoming panchayat polls.

'As the J&K election authority has issued schedule for elections to the vacant seats of sarpanchs and panchs in J&K, the party activists must gear up with their activities in their respective areas,' he said.

He said as these elections will now be conducted on party symbols unlike the earlier election held in 2018, the BJP will have an edge in the elections due to its developmental work.

In the meeting, the BJP's state president also discussed with his party leaders a wide range of issues related to the upcoming panchayat polls.

He said with efforts of dedicated BJP leaders including sarpanchs, panchs and BDC chairpersons elected in earlier poll process, the developmental work are progressing at full pace in both the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh, especially in their rural areas.

He said with the party's strong emphasis on improving the rural infrastructure, the common people from rural areas will wholeheartedly support the BJP in the panchayat elections.

Alleging that earlier panchayat polls were marred by 'vicious electoral malpractice' with parties like National Conference, People's Democratic party and others giving calls to boycott the polls, Raina said the people, hoever, ignored their anti-democratic campaign and voted in huge numbers, posing their trust in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's policy to strengthen the grassroots level democratic structure in J&K.

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