Number of Panchayats likely to go up by about 700, Panch segments by nearly 5000

Govt to set up Comm for OBC percentage if EC gives nod
*Voters go up by around 10 lakh in 6 years

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, Mar 30: With number of electorates in Panchayats increasing from 57.32 lakh in 2018 to 68 lakh after latest revision, number of the Panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir is expected to increase by around 700 from 4192 to around 4900 and Panch segments by around 5000 while the Government is in the process of setting up a Commission to fix percentage for OBCs in the Panchayats after obtaining permission from the Election Authorities here.

Follow the Daily Excelsior channel on WhatsApp
Official sources told the Excelsior that number of electorates in the Panchayats has gone up from 57.32 lakh in 2018 to around 68 lakh when last revision was conducted and voter data was finalized few days back resulting into an increase of about 10.6 lakh voters.
“As per provisions of the Panchayati Raj Act, a Panchayat has to be set up on 4500 population in plain areas and 3000 population in the hilly belts. When this number increases, new Panchayats are to be set up and for the purpose, delimitation has to be ordered by the Rural Development Department,” they said.
Increase in number of voters could take new Panchayats from 4192 to around 4900 and result into increase in Panch Wards by about 5000, the sources said.
A preliminary exercise in this regard has been conducted by the Department while detailed process will be initiated shortly. Prior to undertaking the exercise of delimitation and increasing number of Panchayats (Sarpanch and Panch segments), the Social Welfare Department has to set up a Commission to decide percentage of reservation to be given to Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the Panchayats.
While the Government has given eight percent reservation to OBCs in the Government jobs and educational institutions, the reservation in Panchayats will be proportionate to their population. Further, the Government has added 15 castes in the list of OBCs taking their numbers from 27 to 42.
“As the Model Code of Conduct is in force, the Government plans to approach the Election Commission authorities here for setting up of the Commission to decide percentage of OBCs for the Panchayats,” the sources said, adding if the permission is granted, the Commission will be set up. Otherwise, it will be constituted after the lifting of the Model Code of Conduct.
As per the sources, only after percentage for the OBCs is decided by the Commission, the exercise for delimitation and rotation of reserved Wards will be undertaken. The Panchayat polls will be held after completion of these formalities.
Elections to Panchayats and Municipalities were due in October-November last year but were deferred due to grant of reservation to OBCs. Besides, there were also discrepancies in number of voters in certain Wards of Jammu and Srinagar Municipal Corporations which prompted the Housing and Urban Development Department to undertake delimitation exercise.
Besides Panchayats, the elections to Block Development Councils have also become due as their term was co-terminus with the Panchayats. The District Development Councils, however, have their term till January 2026. First-ever elections to the DDCs were held in November-December 2020 and the DDCs were formally constituted in January 2021.
Women enjoyed 33 percent reservation in the Panchayats and Municipalities. Besides SCs and STs have also reservation in both the bodies. Within 33 percent reservations for Women, quota has been fixed for SC-Women and ST-Women.
In the Legislative Assembly also, Women have been granted 33 percent reservation including SC-Women and ST-Women but this will come into effect only after 2029 like Parliament and other State/UT Assemblies.
Besides, STs have 10 percent and SCs eight percent reservation in the Assembly.

The post Number of Panchayats likely to go up by about 700, Panch segments by nearly 5000 appeared first on Daily Excelsior.

Todays story