Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], October 10 (ANI): Chief Electoral Officer of Jammu and Kashmir Hirdesh Kumar on Saturday held a meeting with representatives of political parties regarding the conduct of panchayat and municipal by-elections 2020.
Several issues were deliberated in the meeting for the smooth conduct of bypolls.
The Chief Electoral Officer told representatives of political parties that all preparations have been finalised including logistics and procurement of election material.
An official release said that panchayat by-elections will be conducted through ballot boxes while the municipal election will be conducted on a party basis.
A detailed schedule is expected to be issued shortly.
The Chief Electoral Officer said that continuous updation of panchayat electoral rolls with reference to January 1, 2020 is under process with the aim that no eligible voter to be left behind unregistered.
For updation of municipal electoral rolls, a special summary revision is being conducted with the qualifying date as January 1, 2020.
The senior official assured all the political parties that panchayat by-election and urban local bodies by-elections 2020 will be conducted in a free, fair, transparent, ethical, participative and COVID-safe manner.
Several issues were raised by the representative of political parties including the deferment of the election due to COVID-19, provision of adequate security as per actual threat perception and conducive atmosphere for the conduct of elections.
Responding to the points, the Chief Electoral Officer said that by-elections can't be indefinitely deferred as the government has now decided to conduct them on the pattern of assembly elections being conducted in the country after observing all COVID-19 SOPs.
"All COVID-19 related arrangements shall be ensured at polling stations including the provision of face masks, sanitizers, thermal scanners and proper social distancing will be ensured during the entire election process," he said. (ANI)