SRINAGAR — Would district development councils (DDCs) in Jammu & Kashmir complete their five-year term or face dissolution when the term of Panchayats would end? This question is being discussed in political circles as the five-year term of Panchayats is coming to an end.

The law governing the Panchayati Raj system in Jammu & Kashmir empowers the government to dissolve the DDCs before their five-year term only in the scenario of “holding common elections to all the tiers of the Panchayats simultaneously so that all the tiers have co-extensive terms in the district”.

“The term of district development council shall be five years except for holding common elections to all the tiers of the Panchayats simultaneously so that all the tiers have co-extensive terms in the district,” reads the Jammu & Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act-1989.

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An official, wishing not to be named, told the news agency KNO that the matter has not been discussed yet. “The issue would be discussed at the highest level before any final call is taken on it,” he said.

The elections for DDCs were held in October-November 2020. In the election, the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration won 110 seats while BJP secured victory on 75 seats.

There are indications that Jammu & Kashmir administration may hold Panchayat polls in the Union Territory in October-November this year. The term of Panchayats is ending on January 9, 2024.

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As per J&K Panchayati Raj Act, the Sarpanch, the Naib-Sarpanch and every Panch of the Halqa panchayat shall hold the office for a period of five years from the date of its constitution. The Panchayats were constituted on January 10, 2019.

The Block Development Councils would also complete their term with Panchayats. According to Jammu & Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act-1989, the term of a Block Development Council shall be co-extensive with the term of Halqa Panchayats of that block.

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