Govt committed to providing grassroots democracy in J-K: Jitendra Singh

New Delhi: Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh on Saturday said that the government would remain undeterred in its approach towards conducting peaceful municipal and panchayat elections in the Jammu and Kashmir, despite a fresh spate of violence in the valley.

“The government is committed to providing grassroots democracy, which is incomplete without the elections of local bodies. Therefore, the resolve to conduct local body elections will remain undeterred,” he told media here.

Singh’s message comes in the backdrop of a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district earlier in the week, where four policemen lost their lives after they came under indiscriminate firing by a group of terrorists.

In another operation carried out by the armed forces, two Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists were gunned down in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district on the same day.

The State Administrative Council (SAC) under the chairmanship of Governor Satya Pal Malik announced on Friday that the municipal polls will be conducted from October 1 to 5, followed by the Panchayat elections in November.

While the municipal elections will be conducted in four phases, the panchayat polls will be conducted in eight phases from 8 November to 4 December.

In an attempt to mitigate further risks, the administrative council also decided to grant a month’s salary in favour of the staff engaged in the conduct of elections, besides insurance cover.