Voting percentage will rise in Panchayat Polls: Governor

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Jammu, Oct 31: In view of the upcoming Panchayat Polls in the region, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday hoped for the voting percentage to rise in the polls.
The dates for the nine-phase Panchayat Polls, which are slated to start from November 17 will be held respectively on 20, 24, 27, 29 of November and December 1, 4, 8, 11.
“I am sure that things will change and there will be a rise in the number of people in the upcoming Panchayat Polls starting from November 17 in nine phases,” Malik told reporters here at the Raj Bhawan after flagging off the ‘Saubhagya Rath’– an initiative for electrifying all left villages of the state.
“Pakistan wants to disturb peace in Jammu and Kashmir, but they are not succeeding,” he said and added that they (Pakistan) are themselves going through a bad situation.
Despite their interruptions and attempts to create disturbances, Urban Local Bodies (ULB) elections went on peacefully and the Panchayat Polls will also witness a rise in the poll percentage, he said.
The Panchayat election had sparked a controversy after both the leading regional parties, the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party, had announced their decision to boycott the polls.
The parties were not pleased with Jammu and Kashmir government’s plea in the apex court about seeking to defer the hearing of a petition on Article 35A, citing upcoming polls.
Talking about the radicalisation of youth in the Valley, he said, “Steps are being taken to de-radicalise youth in the Valley. We have to ensure and make them believe that gun is no solution to the problem but only dialogue.”
Talking about militancy, he said, “those who will fire upon security forces will not get floral bouquet in return, but I believe in ending militancy by engaging youth.”
“Our motive is to end militancy and give an impression that it is not militancy but dialogue that will bring a change,” he asserted and said that the state police are doing a commendable job.
Reacting to the killings of the security personnel, Malik said that the Jammu and Kashmir Police are capable enough to fight against militancy.
Reassuring the cricketers of the state facing alleged harassment at the hands of Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association, the Governor said, “I will speak to the children and if anybody is found to be involved in the harassment of the cricketers, action will be initiated.”
Earlier he said that the ‘Saubhagya Rath’ will move to every village in different districts and identify the un-electrified areas for achieving 100 percent electrification of the villages.
“The vans have experts, technicians of the department. We don’t want any place to be left without electricity,” said the Governor.