New Delhi: With both the National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) choosing to steer clear of the coming municipal and panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir, state Governor Satyapal Malik has had to step in to find a solution. Malik has reportedly spoken to the two parties that this wouldn’t be the “right time” to take this position vis-a-vis Article 35A or Article 370, said a report on Wednesday. Malik took over the reins of the state last month and has held discussions with political leaders to “ease concern and address the issue,” sources told The Indian Express.Also Read - By-Elections 2022: Bypolls to 3 Lok Sabha, 7 Assembly Seats Today; All You Need To Know

During the hearing on Article 35A in the Supreme Court, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the J-K administration, had said that “even debate or discussion on Article 35A will have serious repercussions on law and order”. He also submitted that if local elections were not held as per schedule, it will hit the Finance Commission’s grant of over Rs 4,000 crore. The apex court put off the hearing till January 2019. A senior government official told the daily, “Local body and panchayat elections in the state are overdue and if they are postponed, it will not be possible to hold them before April next year, as elections cannot take place between December and March because of the weather conditions here during that time. By April next year, security forces will be busy with the general elections.” (Also read: SC Refuses to Interfere With Appointment of Acting DGP) Also Read - Madhya Pradesh Panchayat Election 2022: Polling To Be Held In 3 Phases From June 25. Check Details Here

Therefore, the official said, this was the only time when the central security forces will be available for local polls. Otherwise, the state would have to wait another year, the official said. As far as the objections raised by political parties are concerned, a Home Ministry official told the daily, “Panchayat elections are not held on party lines.” Over 40,000 panchayat seats and over 1,140 wards are scheduled to go to the polls in an eight-phase election this October and November. Municipal elections were last conducted in Jammu and Kashmir in 2005, and the last panchayat polls were held in 2011. The 2011 elections saw an 82-per cent turnout. A Home Ministry official said that “security” was the key concern, particularly in areas of south Kashmir. Also Read - New Year, Same J&K Police Locking Leaders in Their Homes: Omar Abdullah Ahead of Peaceful Protest