The All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC) on Friday demanded extension of term of the existing Panchayats for at least two years and hold the elections only in January 2026.

Urging the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and the Union government, president AJKPC, Anil Sharma demanded that the term of Panchayats in J&K should be extended as the same is coming to an end in Nov-Dec 2023.

“There are rumours’ and hearsay that the government may dissolve the existing Panchayats even before the due date and this is not acceptable to the Panchayat members and they would oppose it,” he told reporters here at a press conference.

He said, due to Covid pandemic, for two years between year 2020 and 2021 and prior to that after the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A from Jammu and Kashmir in year August 2019, the entire Jammu and Kashmir remained inattentive and distracted for at least six months; for a total period of 30 months the existing Panchayats members could not concentrate on developmental works therefore it is imperative justified that the term of existing Panchayats be extended for at least two years.

The AJKPC President also informed that under 73rd Amendment of the Constitution of India, all three tiers of the Panchayats should have coterminous and as the term of the district development councils will end in 2025 therefore there is no logic to end the term of the Panchayats prior to that.

“Elections for all three tiers of the Panchayats should be conducted simultaneously and all the PRI members are unanimous in this regard,” he said.

He also informed that soon the Panchayat Conference will hold another meeting of executive body of the AJKPC and chalk out a new strategy in this regard including submitting memorandum to respective Deputy Commissioners at district level and Divisional Commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu and also to meet senior leaders of different political parties and Parliamentarians in New Delhi.