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Jammu & Kashmir Panchayat Elections: Fragrance of righteousness of democracy

The essence of the basics of the democracy upheld in its righteousness was set as another example in the state of Jammu and Kashmir through its unending effort to hold panchayat elections in the desirous and fulfilling manner. And the state government under the dynamic leadership of its Chief Minister Omar Abdullah achieving the landmark success in a most egalitarian way is an excellent job done by the coalition here. Heavy turnout of the people in the electoral process sent a telling message across that the people in the grassroot level are very much desirous of making a strong connect with the political dispensation of the state to make rural Jammu and Kashmir equally binding with the emergent process towards betterment.

The political will in this regard playing as the catalyst to make the procedure of panchayat elections held in the state has assorted an effective notion among the mindset of the people that grass root governance in the state is the strongest tool in the hands of a successful government which the coalition dispensation under the able governance of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah can boast of. The real motive of holding Panchayat elections in the state was the empowerment of the rural masses in policy implementation and formulation which since its successful holding is fast-treading the path of achievement of its goals as people have started aligning with the democratic process of the state polity through their active participation. Panchayats being an effective institution for accelerating the development of rural areas of the state, by involving people of villages in its implementation, the government acted as an institutional catalytic tool for decentralizing the power to the grass root level which forms the basis of a democratic setup.

This would help in generating a trust bridge over the funds earmarked would be used in a judicious manner and the schemes be completed on the fast track basis. People came out in droves to vote in the elections, showing resoluteness not to link their any of the protests with the democratic process. Long queues were seen outside polling stations despite a boycott call given by the separatists The role of Panchayat institutions in facilitating socio-political and economic advancement at grass root level was very well accepted as it was aptly agreed to that the access to local democratic institutions is critical to access emerging opportunities that accompany democratic growth Keeping in view of this accepted fact there had been a major thrust on panchayat system since independence, but as far as ensuring panchayat raj in Jammu and Kashmir was concerned it had always one of their biggest challenges for the government.

The elections in 16 phases held were conspicuous of the enthusiasm in the voter participation in all halqas that saw unprecedented surge in the percentage of the votes polled by the people despite many adversaries having come from some quarters. 79.77 per cent voting in the first phase followed by undeterred percentage rise in subsequent fifteen phases with the record touching turnout was a surprise revelation in the state Highest percentage of 86.06 recorded in Langate block of Kupwara district in the sixth phase while a cumulative percentage record of all the sixteen phases standing at strong 80 percent sent a resounding message across about people 's desire to have political power at the grass root level decentralized into their rural interiors. And here the state government's political will shone bright.




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