Jammu and Kashmir chief secretary B.V.R. Subrahmanyam on Wednesday refuted reports that the municipal and panchayat polls in the state will be deferred.
“There are multiple views going on. We have decided the elections are going on as per schedule,'' Subrahmanyam said at a function in Srinagar, and added that there will be no change in dates.
''Three weeks from now, we will have urban body elections. In the first week of November, we will have panchayat elections,'' he said.
Earlier, there were media reports that the civic polls in the strife-torn state will be deferred due to the boycott call by two main political parties—the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Sources said the Centre is going ahead with the polls because the additional security forces deployed in the state will be required for the upcoming Parliament polls. These troops came to the state for the security of Amarnath Yatra and were retained for civic polls.
The J&K government intends to deploy more than 4,000 paramilitary and police personnel for the multi-phase municipal and panchayat elections in October and November.
The NC and the PDP have decided to stay away from polls over the row erupting over the challenge to Article 35 A in the Supreme Court.
The NC was the first to announce it would boycott the civic polls if the Centre does not clear its stand on Article 35 A of the Constitution that protects the J&K state subject law which bars outsiders from settling in the state.
The article has been challenged in the top court by a right-wing NGO 'We the Citizens' and others on the grounds that it was a mere Presidential Order and not an Act of Parliament and that it violates the fundamental rights of citizens of India from settling in Jammu and Kashmir.
The separatist and the mainstream parties argue that the attempts to scrap the Article are aimed at changing the demography of the Muslim majority state.