Amendment to be effected partially in J&K: Omar

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said only certain provisions of the 73rd Amendment of the Constitution would be incorporated into the state’s Panchayati Raj Act.

“Only certain provisions of the Central Act, relating to the panchayati raj institutions, will be incorporated into the state Act to strengthen and empower these institutions,” Omar told reporters on the sidelines of an award ceremony at Kashmir University here.

He said certain provisions of the 73rd Amendment will be discussed by a cabinet sub-committee and accordingly incorporated into the state Act.

On the postponement of block development council (BDC) elections, Abdullah said the step was taken in the backdrop of demands for reservation for SC, ST and women in the elections.

“Had the issue been raised earlier, notification for the BDC elections would not have been issued. Since the issue of reservation for SC/ST and women has come up, an ordinance has been sent to the governor for approval,” he said.

The ruling National Conference was snubbed by the Congress high command for the delay in incorporating provisions of the 73rd Amendment in the state Act. Succumbing to pressure from the coalition partner, the state government on Monday agreed to defer the BDC elections and approved a crucial ordinance seeking amendment to the existing Panchayati Raj Act.

Reacting to the unprovoked firing by the Pakistani Army in the Uri sector of north Kashmir on Tuesday, the chief minister said Islamabad should respect the ceasefire. Three civilians were killed in the firing.

“Pakistan should stop ceasefire violations as a retaliation from India can lead to an unending exchange of fire between the two sides. I request them (Pakistan) to respect the ceasefire,” Abdullah said.

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